Yet Another Politician Has Eaten An Onion Voluntarily

Tony Abbott's infamous and incredibly weird onion eating habits have been recreated, voluntarily, by a fellow Coalition MP on the campaign trail.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan, a senator for Queensland, tweeted a video of himself munching on an onion while out and about at the Brisbane Markets on Sunday.


"Well, I've never done this before. But I have always been interested in what it tastes like," he said.

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Canavan then proceeded to tale a huge bite of the vegetable, as a bemused market worker looks on. Peeling a layer of skin away, the minister commented "it's not as bad as I thought!"

He tweeted the video alongside the message "maybe Tony Abbott is on to something here". If you've somehow forgotten, Abbott himself weirdly decided to take an enormous bite of an onion while visiting a Tasmanian farm in 2015, when he was still Prime Minister.

At the time it wasn't exactly clear why the PM had decided to munch on a whole raw onion, with the skin still on, and it inspired a generation of jokes, memes and laughter -- not just in Australia, but across the world, with comedian and 'Last Week Tonight' host John Oliver left particularly tickled when he heard the news.

"I may have said 'it's a shame they weren't peeled' and he just started eating it," David Addison, the manager of the farm, said afterwards.

"It was just spontaneous and there weren't even any tears."

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It later emerged that this wasn't even the first time the Member for Warringah had tucked into an onion, with footage from 2011 capturing him chewing on what appeared to be a spring onion.

Abbott explained his strange eating habits in an interview on Sky News in February, saying he wanted to be nice to the farm workers, and defending the meal choice as "beautiful".

“The farmer, understandably, was incredibly proud of his produce,” he said.

“This was an onion that had lost all of its outer skin, it had been peeled, and I thought the least I can do with someone who was as proud of his product as he was, was to take a chomp and it was beautiful.”

“All of us eat raw onion occasionally. Salads are full of raw onion."

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For his part, Abbott responded to Canavan's 2019 onion moment by retweeting the video.

Onions Australia, the industry group for growers of the vegetable, responded with a few messages of their own, after Canavan tagged them in his tweet -- and seemed absolutely ecstatic to have their humble product featuring so prominently in the national political discourse once more.

If you were wondering, though, whether this was the strangest 'politician eats food on the campaign trail' entry of the day -- there is a second contender.

Jacqui Lambie, who was elected to the Senate in 2013 but forced to step down during the section 44 saga after discovering she had Scottish citizenship, is mounting a bid to return to parliament as a senator for Tasmania.

She's been out and about, and tucked into a sauce-drenched dagwood dog at a local festival in her home state.

"The only politician brave enough to eat a Dagwood dog. Shorten ate a sausage sideways," one fan commented.

We'll leave the rest to you.