Working Hard to Answer Questions You Haven’t Asked: Tax-Dollars Used to Fund Research on Who Can Smell ‘Asparagus Pee’

In a perfect example of your hard earned tax-dollars being used for monumentally stupid purposes, researchers at Harvard have reportedly received over $3 million dollars last year to fund two active studies on the smell of urine after eating asparagus.

As the Washington Free Beacon reports, the studies includes roughly 7,000 participants that were surveyed to find out if they are able to detect the smell of asparagus in their own urine after eating the vegetable which is well known for often times giving off a distinctive odor in pee.

According to the results of the study, a “large proportion of individuals of European-American descent cannot smell ‘asparagus pee’—the unpleasant odor present in urine after people eat asparagus.”

Um… Good to know I guess, but can we stop wasting tax dollars on junk like this already?


A taxpayer-funded study set to find out if people can smell their own “asparagus pee.”

Researchers at Harvard on two active studies that received over $3 million last year surveyed nearly 7,000 people to determine if their urine smelled funny after eating the vegetable. The results were published in the BMJ scientific journal, which uses its final edition each year to publish articles that are “quirky, amusing, and creative—but all scientifically sound.”

“To learn more about who can smell asparagus pee and who can’t, Harvard Chan researchers surveyed 6,909 men and women of European-American descent participating in two long-term studies,” the school said. “They found that 58 [percent] of men and 62 [percent] of women were unable to smell the urinary metabolites produced after asparagus consumption. Those metabolites, the authors said, create ‘a rather malodorous bouquet.'”

The researchers said they have much to learn about the odor of urine.

The school listed several grants from the National Institutes of Health that provided funding for the study.

Two active projects include a study using biological samples of men to examine diet and physical activity variables related to cancer that received $2,313,689 last year.

Another study is looking at the benefits of eating “plant-based” foods to battle coronary heart disease. This project received $735,491 last year.

Requests for comment on how much funding specifically went to the asparagus-pee findings were not returned.

Well there you go… Thoughts on this? Let us know in the comment section below.