Not long ago -- possibly less than a year -- I bought onions from the same store in Sweden, as medicine. I would chew on a segment so that my mouth "burned", and then wash it down with some "sour milk".

Recently, for the last few months at least, I find that they barely taste anything. It puzzles me. It's not in my head. It cannot be. They used to be much stronger in taste. Now, it's like they barely taste anything at all in comparison. It no longer "burns". It doesn't feel like it does much good as medicine.

Have they started doing some kind of "GMO" thing to onions now or what? Or does it have some other explanation?

  • 9
    Well, there is something going around that causes people to lose their sense of smell and/or taste, sometimes for several months....
    – user141592
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 17:32
  • 6
    is it possible that you've had Covid? The EU hasn't authorised any genetically modified onions, seems more likely you've had the extremely prevalent disease that affects your sense of taste...
    – Rdd
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


No, the onions you're buying have not been genetically modified. The EU regulates GMO foods very strictly and hasn't authorised any GM onions.

It's possible that you're buying a different cultivar of onion which may have a different taste. I've never heard of the alternative medicine practice you're describing, but some onions (e.g. vidalias) are easier to eat than others and may not taste as strong to you if you're looking for a cooking onion rather than a sweet onion.

Another explanation might be more likely - you had Covid several months ago and it's still affecting your sense of taste. Even mild cases can have lingering effects.

Edited to add: you say you're going to the same store. Consider going to a different one and comparing the flavour of the onions there.

  • 2
    Other factors could be the amount of Sulphur in the soil and temperature where the onions grew. Lower Sulphur and lower temperature can mean sweeter onions, but not tasteless...
    – kitukwfyer
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 18:07
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    @kitukwfyer good points. It's the sudden loss of flavour that makes me think something has changed about the asker rather than the onions...
    – Rdd
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 18:57
  • @kitukwfyer : ‘tasteless’ might just be a translation mistake if someone is Swedish. (You often see questions from people from India stating they have a ‘doubt’ which is a common mistranslation of ‘question’). But I also suspect it’s equally likely that they got a ‘sweet’ variety of low-sulphur onion to it being Covid related.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 2, 2022 at 23:50

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