Onion issues

Has anyone noticed this besides me?

For the past year or two, supermarket onions (the regular, yellow ones) always seem to have 2-3 layers to peel off before getting to completely non-brown onion flesh. Sometimes there are also very thin membranes between the skin layers.

Then, after removing the skin, the onions often have patches of green, and/or dark green stripes (photo, below). These parts of the onion do not cook well; instead, they remain chewy and tough - basically, inedible.

Onions used to be much easier to peel, and never had the green or stripes inside. Is this a side effect of the way onions are mass-produced, stored and shipped (i.e., like the tasteless, super-thick-skinned tomatoes most widely available these days)?

Or what?

I’d appreciate your comments on/insights into this - many thanks.


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Sorry, don’t think the photo copied … will add it if I can.

I haven’t seen these issues, but I’ve noticed that the onions that are for sale individually are huge - much bigger than what I need. The only way I can buy normal size ones is to buy a net bag of them. Weird!


I haven’t noticed either but then I don’t use them often. I have noticed the garlic and shallots my preferred market sources is disgraceful. :triumph:

Whereas, in my normal UK supermarket, all onions (except reds) seem to have been consistently smaller over the last year than previous. The bags of organic onions are particularly small. I presume that it must be a matter of the growing conditions and presumably weather related (but, hey, what do I know - I worked as a clerk, not a farmer or meteorologist)

We need the UK and USA onions to mate and have babies for the perfect size. :stuck_out_tongue:

I have noticed the multiple layers of brown skin, but the inner layers are usually not as papery. They are either partially brown or browning at the top, but it it does require cutting off more of the onion. Maybe for that reason alone, having the 1 lb onion is not a bad thing. I find myself wasting onions a lot too because they tend to be too big, so the few extra layers of browning haven’t been huge issues. It’s more of an annoyance when prepping.


Where do east coast onions originate, or do they vary by variety?

Never really noticed. I tend to buy a few onions from the open bins when I need them, so there is no farm/grower info. Looks like most onions are from the Idaho/Midwest region, to West coast. Maybe the midwest? I also tend to stick to yellow onions, or red onions when I really need red onions for a recipe.

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I’m here in onion & potato land and so most are regional if not local.
I just wondered if the problem was nationwide or localized.

That’s what I’ve noticed. And I have to read individually labeled onions to see if they are “sweet” or “yellow”. The loose ones seem to often be “sweet”.

I’ve also noticed the big, loose onions appear dark or dusky for about 1/4 of the surface near the stem end. I sniff, through a mask, in the store looking for “rot”, but it turns out they are not rotting, nor moody.

Seems like every bag of onions I buy has a few crappy ones.


We find that can happen with bagged potatoes too.

Yep, them too

SoCal and don’t find the quality issue at all. I DO find the yellow onions to be very large though.

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