A few days ago, I was eating a bag of chips and came across one that was super green and, of course, had to throw it away. Now, why I would waste a perfectly good potato chip is exactly why I’m writing this post… to explain something I learned, found interesting, and thought might be fun to share with you all! 🙂
If you spend any amount of time preparing food to be cooked (or have eaten a bag of chips), then you’ve probably seen the infamous green potato I speak of. While the entire potato isn’t green, when you cut into one it’s easy enough to locate any suspiciously green spots.
In other produce, these green spots might indicate that it is under ripe, but for potatoes this is not the case.
When I was little, we would just cut this part of the potato out and continue preparing them per whatever recipe we were following.
Which, honestly, isn’t such a bad thing because the amount of green potatoes you would have to eat in order to suffer any ill effects is pretty large, at 4.5 lbs for one adult. That’s a lot of mashed potatoes!
So, what exactly makes the green so bad? The green in or on a potato indicates that it’s been exposed to sunlight which has activated it’s defense mechanism of producing the toxin solanine. When ingested in large enough amounts, solanine can cause all kinds of horrible effects in the body from vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches to paralysis of the central nervous system.
Rather than rattle on about various facts, more information about this dangerous toxin can be found HERE.
At the end of the day, it seems that while you’d probably be okay eating some green potatoes why risk it? I’m going to follow my doctor’s advice and just keep throwing green potatoes out (they don’t often get to the point of greening in our house anyways, lol).
And definitely do NOT feed them to children!
One other interesting tidbit about the potato plant is that it’s part of the infamous nightshade family, which also includes eggplants and tomatoes! Lol, why are so many yummy foods potentially dangerous?
And there you have it, lesson learned.