Why do onions make you cry?

Im not crying, Im just cutting onions (Picture: Getty)

Have you ever been chopping onions and ended up looking like youd just watched The Notebook for the first time? Yup, us too.

Onions have the power to make us cry more than any of our exes ever could, which is pretty annoying given we cant ghost and block a vegetable.

There are a whole host of methods to avoid the tears when cooking with onions, but have you never just wondered why theyre so sob-inducing in the first place?

We have some answers for you.

Hate to break it to you lady, but you havent even started chopping yet (Picture: Getty)

The tears you cry when youre chopping onions are reflex tears, which are brought about by some sort of external irritant.

You also have basal tears which are around all the time and act as eye lube, and emotional tears which are around when someone calls you a mean name or you see the John Lewis advert.

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Reflex tears are released from the lachrymal glands, which receive signals from your brain to do so if your eyes need to be flushed out due to things like dust or smoke.

As you chop your onion, an enzyme is released, which in the air becomes a compound called syn-propanethial-S-oxide.

This is the mix that sets off your lachrymal glands, as your body tries to protect itself from the oncoming chemical attack.

Apparently you can build up something of a tolerance to syn-propanethial-S-oxide, but theres no official timescale so you just have to endure the pain of cooking until it lessens.

In the meantime, this year brought a tear-free onion to our stores, so you could always just try that instead.

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