Good News for Onion Lovers

It took more than 20 years for Alastair Findlay to develop an onion that doesn’t cause tears or bad breath. But he finally did it.

Findlay, a British farmer affiliated with the agricultural co-operative Bedfordshire Growers, says he tasted 400 to 500 bulbs per season to develop the onion. Asda, a UK supermarket chain, just introduced Findlay’s creation, called the Asda Sweet Red.  Asda’s website says the onion was selectively bred to have “lower pungency levels” than regular onions.

“We’re incredibly proud to have worked and supported Alastair on his journey,” said Asda vegetable buyer Andy Wareham. “Introducing the UK’s very first sweet red onion is a fantastic achievement and like the USA, the UK has a sweeter palate than most so will appreciate the same tangy flavour, without the strong acidity of some onions.”

Alastair Findlay’s work isn’t finished, however. He wants to create a better and improved version of the Sweet Red for launch next year.

You can read more about Findlay and his creation in this article.

About Lynne Strang

I'm a freelance writer who helps organizations and individuals meet their marketing and communications goals. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." To learn more, please visit my website:
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24 Responses to Good News for Onion Lovers

  1. Ha! Science is amazing. Onions have never made me cry. As a child, I ate them like apples. I use them in almost every meal. I love onions, can you tell? 😉

  2. … and good news for those of us who continue to persevere. Thanks for sharing this story, Lynne.

  3. Nomzi Kumalo says:

    Since those onions were so potent, what about having used and eaten less onion? Quitting the onion? Am I missing something here, Lynne? 🙂

    • Lynne Strang says:

      Hi Nomzi — Both of your suggestions are possible ways to cut back on tears and halitosis. I’m not an onion expert but my guess is the Asda Sweet Red is a good choice for: 1) people who really like onions and don’t want to cut back on eating them and 2) people who are more sensitive to onions and become teary-eyed after just a small amount of chopping. Thanks for commenting.

      • Nomzi Kumalo says:

        Hello Lynne. I am not an onion expert either but I have encountered some extra strong ones out there. I can hardly tell them apart. Fascinating projects we undertake. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. 🙂

  4. Lynne Strang says:

    Thank you. Since the weather has turned bitterly cold here, I’m planning to make some homemade soup — with onions : )

  5. Tech Talk says:

    Interesting development for all those who love rich spicy food from the continent without the odour. Onion is a major ingredient. Loved the article and your flow of thoughts.

    • Lynne Strang says:

      It seems like the most successful entrepreneurs know themselves and what they’re passionate about. Maybe it’s onions. Or maybe it’s technology. Whatever it is, these entrepreneurs find a way to direct their passion toward finding — and filling — an unmet need. Thank you for reading.

  6. Indeed is a very wonderful news for us, onion lovers. 🙂

    • Lynne Strang says:

      And it wouldn’t have happened if Alastair Findlay had given up. Sampling 400 to 500 bulbs per season is a lot of onions, even for those who love them. Congratulations on your new blog, by the way.

      • Thank you so much, Lynne Strang. Wow, 400 to 500 hundred, yes it’s a lot, but you know what, when someone is passionate about something, they will most definitely give 100%.

  7. Lynne Strang says:

    I agree that passion is key but you also need tenacity and the discipline to direct your passion in the right direction — especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. It seems like lots of people are passionate about something — but they aren’t always motivated to do the hard work necessary to turn their idea into reality.

  8. Thanks for sharing this. So true about having to put in the necessary hard work to make ideas into a reality. Looking forward to reading more of your posts. ~Rita

  9. I never knew that onions caused bad breath, but they do make me cry. I love the idea that this guy has come up with. So simple! Now I just need to find out where they sell them.

  10. royha says:

    I always close my eyes while chopping onions, and I almost never get tears in my eyes. But I’m excited about that new breed. Hopefully, it’ll find its way to Lebanon sometime during this century haha. Nice blog ^^ looking forward to other reads.

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