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Are Onions that have been cut safe to use the next day or after?

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  • Are Onions that have been cut safe to use the next day or after?

    Recently, I read something that said that you should never eat an onion (after it has been cut) except for on the day that you originally cut that onion. The author stated that onions have an "absorbing" quality that causes them to suck the bad things out of the air and into themselves. (He contends that they actually become toxic) And, he stated that, although they were fine when first cut, one should never "save" them for future use after they have been cut.

    My apologies for this posting. I am somewhat embarrassed to even write it because it sounds so obviously incorrect.

    But, I would very much like to know the answer since I am eating a lot of vegetables (of course). And, I am wondering if I have to waste an entire onion every time I want a few bits of one.

    Thanks.

    David

  • #2
    Hey David,

    I've eaten countless cut onions - out of the fridge, off the counter - and I'm still here writing to you. I think it's bunk.

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    • #3
      Oh man, I'd say noooo. I know because I tried this, dicing them, putting them in a little plastic Tupperware, and leaving in the fridge overnight....and the stank they emitted the next day must have been toxic. The Tupperware would not stop smelling like it, and neither would my hands.

      So. Chop your onion fresh.

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      • #4
        not dead yet!
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        • #5
          I save onions all the time and use them....I'm okay....I think.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Megatron View Post
            Oh man, I'd say noooo. I know because I tried this, dicing them, putting them in a little plastic Tupperware, and leaving in the fridge overnight....and the stank they emitted the next day must have been toxic. The Tupperware would not stop smelling like it, and neither would my hands.

            So. Chop your onion fresh.
            That's coming from inside the onion. The acrid onion fumes are released from the onion when you cut it. Get too close and it will make you cry.

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            • #7
              Why do people believe the most inane urban legends? Common sense people....

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              • #8
                Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                That's coming from inside the onion. The acrid onion fumes are released from the onion when you cut it. Get too close and it will make you cry.
                Yeah, and I can stand it while chopping, but this was something else. I eat onions nearly every day, I am used to them, this was a new, fresh hell.
                More than onion smell. It was staaank. I dunno, maybe my onion was bad, or mold got in somehow? I've chopped it in half and used the other half later without this problem, it was just dicing and storing that it got so bad. I didn't eat it but maybe it would have tasted the same...but with that smell I couldn't have done it.
                And my 'toxic' smell comment was obviously hyperbole. I doubt my stinky onion would kill anything other than a possible makeout session. Still. It was gross.

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                • #9
                  I do it all the time. Pretty sure it's not anything to worry about.
                  My nutrition/fitness/critical thinking blog:

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                  • #10
                    Cutting the onion releases the oils. If you just cut off the portion you are using and wrap the leftover snugly in plastic wrap, it is fine to use another day. If you chop the onion to use later, you should blanch or sauté the chopped pieces, or the volatile oils released by chopping will change and become bitter. I used to know the science behind it all, but now I just know the rules. Oh, and don't peel the portion you are saving for later.

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                    • #11
                      I often keep half a chopped onion to use the next day. To stop it drying out / stinking the fridge out, I toss the bits I'm keeping in olive oil, pour into a glass bowl and cover with cling film. Then it just needs to be tipped into a frying pan the next day and browned / cooked / whatever.

                      I don't believe for one minute that it has the ability to attract germs / toxins etc. If it did - wouldn't hospitals be full of little bowls of chopped onions, drawing MRSA, eColi etc germs towards them for easy disposal later?!

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                      • #12
                        I've left onions half cut for next day's use as well without harm. Even if the rumor were true, I think you're safe unless you store your cut onion in a nuclear plant.
                        F 28/5'4/100 lbs

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the FeedBAck on my question!

                          Originally posted by Glenview View Post
                          Cutting the onion releases the oils. If you just cut off the portion you are using and wrap the leftover snugly in plastic wrap, it is fine to use another day. If you chop the onion to use later, you should blanch or sauté the chopped pieces, or the volatile oils released by chopping will change and become bitter. I used to know the science behind it all, but now I just know the rules. Oh, and don't peel the portion you are saving for later.
                          To Glenview and Breadsauce and the Rest: Thanks for those insights. Having just started eating this way about 3 months ago, it is helpful to get some good feedback on some of the stuff you hear. I love onions with my salads and with just about any grilled vegetable. Glad to hear that I don't have to throw the other half away every time I cut one open!

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                          • #14
                            I am not saying it is or isnt safe, I hope it's safe because I do this all the time, but some of the replies sort of remind me of what ppl tell me when I say things like wheat isn't good for them. They say, well I have been eating it for years and I am still fine. Not trying to argue, just saying

                            Anyways, I havent heard this before, but I did hear something about letting it set for 10 minutes after you chop it before using it, for something to do something... but I don't remember what now. Or maybe that was garlic... or both.
                            Last edited by gopintos; 03-06-2013, 07:39 AM.
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                            • #15
                              Hope it's not true. I have used leftover onion in the fridge countless times.
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