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Are Green Potatoes Safe To Eat If You Peel Them

If you have ever seen bright green potatoes in the supermarket or watched that episode of Arthur as a child, then you were probably freaked out by their existence. It turns out that green potatoes are not only weird, but they can also be quite dangerous. But before we get into the danger associated with eating green potatoes, why do potatoes turn green in the first place?


Why are my potatoes green?

Potatoes turn green when stored improperly or exposed to light. Like tubers, potatoes crave darkness. Their sole purpose is to store nutrients until spring, when the plant activates its stored energy reserve for new growth.

Simply put, potatoes were never meant to see the sun. Do you remember biology class? When potatoes are exposed to light, they begin to undergo photosynthesis and convert those nutrients into energy. Photosynthesis triggers the production of chlorophyll and the potato turns green. Unfortunately, this process also creates solaninea poison that can be dangerous if ingested in large quantities.

What do you mean by poison?

That’s right, poison! Solanine is a natural pesticide and the defense system of the potato plant. It is found exclusively in the nightshade species and solanum genre, including eggplants, tomatoes, tobacco and, you guessed it, potatoes.

Solanine generally triggers gastrointestinal and neurological disturbances, such as diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, nausea, headaches and dizziness. However, how Direct science notes, the most severe cases of solanine poisoning can cause hypothermia, paralysis, hallucinations, jaundice and even loss of sensation.

Sunlight and heat turn potato skins into a green witch that contains high levels of a toxin, solanine which can cause disease and is poisonous.  Don't buy and eat green potatoes!  Pile on sackcloth.
Helin Loik-Tomson via Getty Images


Can you eat green potatoes?

Eating a green potato is unlikely to kill you, but it is best to avoid them. If your potato has only a few green dots you may be able to save them. You can try peeling the skin off or cutting off the green parts, but if they still taste bitter, discard them.


How do I prevent green potatoes?

Potatoes will not turn green as long as they are stored properly and protected from light. Your ideal location for storing potatoes is somewhere cool and dark, like a basement. Keep them away from stressors, such as heat and extreme temperature changes. And if you see green potatoes for sale at the supermarket, warn someone. You could save lives, or at least prevent a lot of tummy aches.

Related content:

  • 10 Ways to Cook Potatoes in the Microwave
  • How to store potatoes so they last as long as possible
  • How to Freeze Potatoes: A Step-by-Step Guide


If you have ever seen bright green potatoes in the supermarket or watched that episode of Arthur as a child, then you were probably freaked out by their existence. It turns out that green potatoes are not only weird, but they can also be quite dangerous. But before we get into the danger associated with eating green potatoes, why do potatoes turn green in the first place?


Why are my potatoes green?

Potatoes turn green when stored improperly or exposed to light. Like tubers, potatoes crave darkness. Their sole purpose is to store nutrients until spring, when the plant activates its stored energy reserve for new growth.

Simply put, potatoes were never meant to see the sun. Do you remember biology class? When potatoes are exposed to light, they begin to undergo photosynthesis and convert those nutrients into energy. Photosynthesis triggers the production of chlorophyll and the potato turns green. Unfortunately, this process also creates solaninea poison that can be dangerous if ingested in large quantities.

What do you mean by poison?

That’s right, poison! Solanine is a natural pesticide and the defense system of the potato plant. It is found exclusively in the nightshade species and solanum genre, including eggplants, tomatoes, tobacco and, you guessed it, potatoes.

Solanine generally triggers gastrointestinal and neurological disturbances, such as diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, nausea, headaches and dizziness. However, how Direct science notes, the most severe cases of solanine poisoning can cause hypothermia, paralysis, hallucinations, jaundice and even loss of sensation.

Sunlight and heat turn potato skins into a green witch that contains high levels of a toxin, solanine which can cause disease and is poisonous.  Don't buy and eat green potatoes!  Pile on sackcloth.
Helin Loik-Tomson via Getty Images


Can you eat green potatoes?

Eating a green potato is unlikely to kill you, but it is best to avoid them. If your potato has only a few green dots you may be able to save them. You can try peeling the skin off or cutting off the green parts, but if they still taste bitter, discard them.


How do I prevent green potatoes?

Potatoes will not turn green as long as they are stored properly and protected from light. Your ideal location for storing potatoes is somewhere cool and dark, like a basement. Keep them away from stressors, such as heat and extreme temperature changes. And if you see green potatoes for sale at the supermarket, warn someone. You could save lives, or at least prevent a lot of tummy aches.

Related content:

  • 10 Ways to Cook Potatoes in the Microwave
  • How to store potatoes so they last as long as possible
  • How to Freeze Potatoes: A Step-by-Step Guide


Video about Are Green Potatoes Safe To Eat If You Peel Them

What happens if you eat green potatoes?

00:00 – What happens if you eat green potatoes?
00:39 – Are slightly green potatoes OK to eat?
01:08 – Is solanine destroyed by cooking?
01:41 – How much green on a potato is safe?
02:11 – How green is too green for a potato?

Laura S. Harris (2020, December 31.) What happens if you eat green potatoes?
AskAbout.video/articles/What-happens-if-you-eat-green-potatoes-202163

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Our main goal is creating educational content. The topic of this video has been processed in the spirit of this goal. If required by education, we may also present a detail of the topic that may be objectionable to some people.

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