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Interesting, but strange facts about asparagus

Interesting, but strange facts about asparagus


Asparagus makes your urine smell weird. No, you aren’t crazy — after eating asparagus, many people can still smell it later! Natural compounds in asparagus break down in the body to form Methylmercaptans or Methanethiol — the jury is still out on the exact compound our bodies produce, which gives your urine this unique aroma. Strangely, the smell is produced by the same class of chemicals responsible for the foul odor produced by skunks, and some people are unable to smell the chemical due to a genetic variation! For more information on this fascinating subject, check out our links below.


 

Photo courtesy of Esteban Cavrico at Flickr.com.

Asparagus is a mean, green, cleaning machine.

Asparagus has the unusual ability to absorb arsenic and some other heavy metals from the soil in large quantities. Several species of asparagus are currently being researched and tested for environmental cleanup. Asparagus can give you gout (if you eat a ton of it)! Compounds called purines in asparagus break down in the body to form uric acid, the compound that causes gout. Unfortunately, some people do get gout from asparagus, but typically only after consuming large amounts of asparagus — perhaps several pound a day!

What the heck does “asparagus” mean? The word comes from the ancient Greek or Persian word “asparag” which means sprout. It was given this name because it is one of the earliest — if not the earliest — harvestable fresh vegetable in many parts of the world. Socrates and the Spartans ate asparagus. The Greeks where probably the first to cultivate asparagus in large quantities. It was a favorite for improving health and vigor of people after the winter.

No sensitive, young eyes should read the following paragraph!

The Greeks saw the asparagus spear, like they saw so many other aspects of their world, as a phallus — any children reading this should ask their parents. Because the Greek culture was obsessed with the phallus, they believed almost anything similarly shaped was a symbolic representation of the phallus. Even the columns of many of their buildings where carved to look like them. Their fondness for the phallus naturally led them to develop a fondness for the asparagus spear.

Hopefully this information has been helpful and you’ve learned enough to help you cultivate a good crop of this very ancient and nutritious garden plant. The following links provide additional information about asparagus and its culture:

Asparagus culture and information:

1) General info

2) Weird info

3) Frequently Asked Questions

4) Commercial Production Information

5) Disease info