Asparagus - The pee stinker

Now on to one of my wife’s least favorite subjects, the smell your pee makes when you eat asparagus. It irritates her whenever I bring it up, (which is every time we eat asparagus) and she has a series of responses:

“So do you go out of your way to smell your pee every time you go?” or “No it doesn’t.” or “Why don’t you go smell some pee then?” or simply “Shut up.”

Of course, this only encourages me. So I did some research. Evidently the medical community is aflame with debates over this subject. Doctors are throttling each other at medical conferences. Nurses are taking endless samples of asparagus pee for study. You can specialize in asparagus pee research in medical school now and make a six figure income.

Pee dollars

For years, the prevailing belief was that the smell was cause by a compound called methanethiol, a dash of chemicals found commonly in rotten eggs and cabbage. For years Doctors would send patients away in droves with that answer.

Then in 1975 they believed that they were in fact wrong. Hundreds of thousands of patients had been decieved and went to their graves believing a fallacy. Doctors discovered that the smell actually came from several different chemicals, mainly S-methyl thioacrylate and S-methyl 3-(methylthio)thiopropionate.

The news was stunning. Congressional hearings were held on the subject, lawsuits were brought on in the dozens. Some doctors even went to jail. Thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on apology letters to patients explaining the truth behind the asparagus pee smell.

Then a curve ball was thrown when other studies came out saying that it was methanethiol after all. Scientists on both sides of the argument debated the subject endlessly. This was a time known widely in the scientific community as Asparaggeddon.


To add to the debate many people denied the existence of the asparagus pee smell because, theirs did not stink. Thus the old addage, “He’s so vain, he thinks his pee don’t stink.” These people were joined on the battlefield by the people that believed that they had never in their lives farted.

Then in 1980 a revolutionary study came out that said that the reason that some people’s pee did not get asparagussed, was that they lacked the ability to smell it at all. That’s right, they were genetic mutants born without the ability to smell asparagus pee. You may be one of them. If your are, I am watching you.

In fact I think my wife is one of the mutated. I wonder how many of my children are affected. Only time will tell. I am still on the fence as to whose side I will choose. But believe me when Asparaggeddon 2 comes, I will be ready.

Choose your side. The evidence is widely available.

There is even a new religion where the belief in something called asparagusic acid is prevalent. I am sure that details will be forthcoming in that area.,,1576765,00.html