It weighs heavily on the mind

September 5th, 2009

This is clearly a question that troubles millions of Googlers across the world…

And in case you’re wondering what the answer is, the following is courtesy of the British Asparagus website:

About half the population experience strange smelling (and sometimes green!) urine after eating asparagus – this is due to sulphur-containing amino acids in the veg that break down during digestion. Different people form different amounts of these compounds after eating asparagus, and many people cannot smell the odour even when they produce the compounds.

The sulphur compound in asparagus is mercaptan and according to the book “Why Do Men Have Nipples?“, it’s all down to your genes:

Not all people have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan, so some of you can eat all the asparagus you want without stinking up the place. One study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that only 46 percent of British people tested produced the odor while 100 percent of French people tested did.

The French always have to go one better when it comes to cuisine.

This partly explains why my good lady and I were the only ones in the packed cinema who laughed at the asparagus joke in “Goldmember”. Forty-six percent of the audience who had eaten asparagus had never produced the smell. Only two of us laughed, which means we constituted fifty-four percent of those who had eaten asparagus. OK, let’s go fifty-fifty, so only four people in the audience had eaten asparagus. The other hundred and ninety six probably didn’t even know what asparagus was. Didn’t think of that, did you, Mike Meyers?

And there are no “chops” in Judo, to my knowledge.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply