those legendary oatmeal farts are real!

Es­ti­mated reading time is 5 min­utes.

WHO FARTS MOST AND WHY? Talk to any group of women who live with men and you will hear a gen­eral list of, ahem, ob­ser­va­tions on the gen­eral de­meanor and be­havior of those men. The most common ob­ser­va­tion is an al­most ob­ses­sive at­trac­tion to spec­tator sports—especially if they are on television—accompanied by beer and chips.

When given a few days off from work, there is a ten­dency to­wards (among many other, er, habits):

a propen­sity to­wards nose-picking,
 a di­sheveled ap­pear­ance, and
 a taste for porn. 1

And farts.

Al­ways with the farts!


As Gramma al­ways told my brother, sister and me when we were chil­dren: “Where ere ye be, let your wind flow free.”


Fart, a once-crude word for flat­u­lence, is now so com­monly used that what­ever crude­ness once as­signed to its use in de­cent com­pany seems ab­surd in hind­sight. Syn­ony­mous with flat­u­lence—it­self a rather funny word—it refers to the passing of gas from the in­testines through the rectum.

Merriam-Webster On­line is so cau­tious in defining flat­u­lent that it’s al­most a use­less de­f­i­n­i­tion: “marked by or af­fected with gas gen­er­ated in the in­tes­tine or stomach.”

Yeah yeah yeah!

But what about the noise?

What about the stink?

What about how damn funny they can be?

At least to men (and my sister).



I searched for a funny image of a man breaking wind but could’t re­sist this photo when I found it! And it calls to mind a bit of sage ad­vice that I re­ceived from my Gramma: “Where ere ye be, let your wind flow free.”

Men out-fart women

How much gas each in­di­vidual passes varies based on genes and diet, al­though other health is­sues may play a part in one’s gas build-up, in­cluding cer­tain pre­scrip­tion drugs. What­ever the final make-up is, ac­cording to women, we men out-fart them by a con­sid­er­able margin!

That said, I find that con­fessing to having spent a major por­tion of my life as a major farter has been rel­a­tively pain­less. At least, for me. As a life­long lover of beer, I cer­tainly know my way around the whole experience.

Now for the meat of the matter: for years, I had been hearing jokes about oat­meal farts. And I be­lieved only that they were, in fact, jokes about oat­meal causing mem­o­rable farts.



John McCann and your behind

Need­less to say, a staple of my diet for years has been a BIG bowl of Mc­Cann’s Steel Cut Irish Oat­meal, which I gen­er­ously add raisins (a fart-inducer it­self) and ba­nanas along with a healthy dollop of raw honey for break­fast. Just writing these words de­scribing my break­fast makes my mouth water, even as I con­tinue pecking away at the key­board. 2

Each can of Mc­Cann’s bears a little banner that in­stills con­fi­dence in the product by noting that “Sol­uble fiber from oat­meal may re­duce the risk of heart dis­ease.” There is no sim­ilar banner warning the buyer that very sol­uble fiber from oat­meal may in­crease the risk of daily bursts of ex­ces­sive flatus.

But last year things changed: I ac­tu­ally re­searched oat­meal farts, wanting to know the source of the joke. And, lo and be­hold, it is NOT a joke: due to the high fiber make-up of oats, bac­teria in the di­ges­tive tract cannot break down that fiber and con­se­quently gas builds up and, well, it comes out as flat­u­lence, or farts.

So, I gave up my cher­ished oat­meal for a few days to see what would happen. And that is all it took to no­tice a BIG difference—a few days.


Within 72 hours (less than three days), my far­tometer showed an al­most 50% drop in hourly in­ci­dents! Honest Injun!!!

I had not told my wife what I was doing, but on the third day she re­marked about the change in our place’s overall am­bi­ence. She said, “Babe, what’s wrong? You’re not farting like usual?”

So, the point of this post is this: guys, if you fart like the dickens (or merely like a guy), and oat­meal is a part of your diet, cut it out for a couple of weeks and see if there are any pos­i­tive re­sults. Like they’re cut in half! And gals, if your guy is into oat­meal, get him off the stuff and see your life change for the better!



The ultimate farter is your dog

My sister, Mary Alice, had this amazing dog as her partner and room­mate. His name was Munchkin and he was so in­tel­li­gent, so cu­rious, so damn near human, that his mere ex­is­tence was an ar­gu­ment for rein­car­na­tion. He was also friendly, af­fec­tionate, and funny. He could also clear a room of all human habi­ta­tion with a single, silent fart.

There would be MA and her then-boyfriend John, my brother Charles, and me sit­ting at the kitchen table at our par­ents’ house chit-chatting away. Munch would be flopped down on the floor in front of the back door. Sud­denly, without a word, the four of us would be up and running—and I don’t mean walking quickly—I mean we ran to get out of that room.


Guess . . .

Fart cartoon

I found this car­toon by Sandy Huf­faker which al­lows me to tie in farts with pol­i­tics (and Mr. Beck may not be the #1 rightwing gasbag, but he runs with that pack). Please note that Mr. Huf­faker is three-time Car­toonist of the Year nom­inee who has also been nom­i­nated for a Pulitzer Prize.

On beer and farting

Fi­nally, guys, I know it’s al­most impossible—beer being an es­sen­tial com­po­nent to an Amer­ican male’s bal­anced diet—but if you give it up (beer, that is), most of the rest of the re­maining 50% of your flat­u­lence will cease and you could end up farting LESS than your wife!!!

Think she can handle that?

Post­scrip­tu­ally, my daughter spent a week with us during Au­gust, the first time we have been to­gether for sev­eral years. We were dis­cussing how much of her was like me and diet came up. And I asked her about oat­meal, of which she is, need­less to say, rather fond.

I told her all of the above and the next morning she and I had a big bowl of Mc­Cann’s with raisins and ba­nanas and honey, my first bowl of oat­meal in a loooooong time. Guess which was the only day that I had the farts while she was here?

Sol­uble fiber from oat­meal may re­duce the risk of heart dis­ease, but cause farting—lots of farting. Click To Tweet

Fart photo 1000

HEADER IMAGE: The image at the top of this page ac­com­pa­nied a piece ti­tled “Part­ners Who Fart in Front of Each Other Are More-Likely to Have a Long Re­la­tion­ship” on the Cu­rious Mind Mag­a­zine site. Per­haps Berni and I, then, are eternal . . .



1   This ar­ticle was orig­i­nally posted on this site on No­vember 7, 2103, with a sim­ilar title, “those leg­endary oat­meal farts are real (honest injun).” For this re­vi­sion, I have edited the draft, added sev­eral images—something that I did not know how to do at the time—and a few words con­cerning the thun­derous car­toon I used as the header above. So if you have al­ready read this, there re­ally isn’t any­thing earth-shaking or room-clearing in this update. 

2   While ba­nanas and raisins are my fave, you can add any fruit that de­lights you: berries of any kind work well. And in­stead of honey, try light brown sugar.




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