We've all experienced that extremely awkward moment after someone farts. If you are not familiar:

Tbh this has happened to me more than a few times. Tragic, I know. And I am very publicly admitting this right now on the world wide web, so please humor me in understanding the science behind why beans really make us fart. You know you want to know the answer—you're lying to yourself if you're pretending you aren't curious.

So why do beans make you fart? Let's learn our ~science~ for the day.

vegetable, tomato, legume, chili, sauce, meat, pepper
Katherine Baker

What most of us don’t realize is we fart throughout the day, I know, tragic, yet the farts made up of oxygen and nitrogen unknowingly swallowed from the air are odorless, thank biology for that! When we get nervous or embarrassed is when our farts are smelly, loud, and sometimes oddly musical... or is that just me? According to science, it happens to all of us. 

Basically, our stomachs are made up of digestive enzymes that work to break down the food we eat and distribute the nutrients throughout our bodies. Beans, however, are full of oligosaccharides, dietary fibers made up of sugar molecules that are insoluble and unable to be digested properly.

Because beans are unable to be broken down and properly digested, they're passed straight through the small intestine. Once in the large intestine, microbial bacteria latch on and attempt to break them down. During this process, the bacteria produce an increasing volume of gas that builds up to the point of no return: the fart. And the more volume and pressure logically leads to the more noise, and that's just what we don't want.

Needless to say, what we must realize is that farting is simply our body’s method of processing the food we eat. It's a necessary biological function of our digestive system, even if it fails us sometimes and can possibly ruin a date. 

In fact, as Dr. Jonathan LaPook, Chief Medical Correspondent of CBS News and Professor of Medicine at NYC Langone Medical Center, describes, “farting is actually a by-product of digestion. While we digest and absorb much of what we eat, sometimes things we eat are metabolized by bacteria in the colon to create gas.” Dr. LaPook further explains that it's entirely normal to pass gas up to 15 to 20 times per day. But, of course, we especially worry about those loud smelly farts, right?

vegetable, cereal, legume, meat, pea, chickpeas, garbanzo, corn
Christin Urso

Dr. LaPook hilariously describes a way to “uncouple” or separate yourself from the smell and not carry it with you: simply wiggle your body a little bit in one spot and then take a few steps away from yourself and repeat the shake. Not only are you now stank free, you're also basically a scientific expert on why beans make us fart.

Next time you're on a date or in class with your crush and you awkwardly fart, instead of blushing and pretending it wasn’t you you can clarify that the noise and/or smell was just your intro into a fact-packed presentation on the reasons why beans make us fart! Wouldn’t that be awesome?