Why do onions make us cry? The brain tells the eyes to start crying as a defense mechanism to get rid of the irritant. There are, however, other ways to avoid these tears. Chopping an onion causes all of the acids and enzymes in its cells to mix, producing a chemical irritant known as lachrymatory factor (or LF). By debilitating the basic component of the chemical reaction, you successfully eliminate all chances of suffering an unprovoked emotional trauma. Onions contain a volatile chemical called syn-Propanethial S-oxide (C3H6OS). Onions External (Texas A&M University) - Provides all types of information about onions such as planting tips, the varieties, the history and laws, and onion recipes. Why Do Onions Make You Cry? When an onion is cut, it has a natural defense mechanism … Dille, Carolyn, and Susan Belsinger. Onions release a chemical irritant called syn … Since plants can't run away when threaten, they have to create their own defense by producing sulfur. Topics. Georgia Souyave-Murphy and Ella Woods are on the case. It's a defense mechanism. It’s a defense mechanism against critters — or humans — who want to eat them. Why do onions make you cry? Aug. 2, 2017 — Adding onions to a recipe can make a meal taste rich and savory, but cutting up the onion can be brutal. If it is heated, it turns to smoke like vapor. But why do onions actually make us cry? But an onion's defence mechanism … Sulphur is a solid, not gas. People put up with the tears associated with cutting onions to take advantage of their distinctive taste and health benefits. But it's also possible that no two onions from the same bag will have the same effect, so cutting into the vegetable may be the only way to know if it will make you cry. The onion is a vegetable that people use in the kitchen as a cooking ingredient. Cutting an onion releases these sulfur compounds. Certainly sweeter onions tend to have less of the sulphur-containing compounds that eventually produce the propanthial s-oxide. Onions don't contain pure sulphur for that to happen. External (PennState Extension) Further Reading. This defense mechanism from the onion produces a defense mechanism in its predators: tears. By heating an onion, you basically inactivate the synthase enzyme. You could choose a well-ventilated area for your battle against the onion. According to the National Onion Association, the average American consumes 20 pounds of onions each year. Why Do Onions Make You Cry? When these sulfur compounds come in contact with the water in our eyes, they produce sulfuric acid. Sulfur is an irritant to both our noses and to our eyes. Onions release a compound called …