Oregon farmer beguiles TikTok users with onion storage tips

Pile of yellow onions
Photo: Owen Franken (Getty Images)

Onion farmer TikTok is a thing, and it’s awakening the youths to an entirely new understanding of American agriculture. The Daily Mail reports that Shay Myers, a third-generation farmer in Oregon, has gone viral with his eye-opening video about onion storage.

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Myers, who is also the CEO of Owyhee Produce, uses his TikTok account to give users an inside look at farming—and one of his recent videos has, as the kids say, popped all the way off. In a recent video, Myers explained that onions are often stored for up to eight months after harvest. One user asked why they were stored for so long, and Myers posted a simple response—a response that has now been viewed more than four million times.

In the clip, Myers is seen standing in a massive storage unit surrounded by thousands of harvested onions. He explains that if you buy an onion at the grocery store in the first few weeks of October, it’s “coming straight out of the field.” But onions purchased from November through mid-April are typically pulled from storage, where they’re kept fresh with consistent airflow and humidity control. That’s because American onion farmers don’t have access to the kind of year-round farming conditions available to farmers near the equator.

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While most onion consumers don’t have the conditions to professional onion storage facilities, Myers does offer a few tips to keep your onions fresh for as long as possible. First, don’t ever put your onions in the fridge. You should also keep onions dry by placing them in a paper bag, which can help wick moisture away. Finally, store onions in a space with a consistent temperature—like under the sink or in the basement. They’re helpful tips, especially since, as one TikTok commenter put it, “Onions do be hittin’ different right now.”

Staff writer @ The Takeout. Pork shoulder princess @ Chicago.

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DISCUSSION

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Do not store your onions under the sink, because under the sink is not a thermally-consistent place. When you use hot water, it gets hot under the sink as the waste water passes through the pipes. Even with insulated pipes, you will find it makes a difference enough to bother produce. And if you have thin, ‘70s kitchen hardware, this can even cause heating and condensation issues in the cabinet next to the sink. Ask me how I know (it involves a lot of sad, ugly, wrinkled potatoes over the course of years).

If you use paper bags, remember to leave them open for improved airflow, and keep them out of the light.