You’ve just gone to the supermarket and bought a lot of stuff, you might not be aware of all the items chosen, and guess what? The potatoes have green skin! You wonder are they still safe to eat? That’s the question! In this article, we will delve into the facts behind, what happened with them, whether are they edible or not, and what are the best ways to store and consume them.
What Happened Within The Potato?
Just like the majority of vegetables, potato needs sunlight to grow, but too much of it may have negative effects, one of which is turning green color from the inside. The green skin occurs due to the synthesis of chlorophyll – a pigment produced by the plant when exposed too much to the sunshine.
In addition, this color acts as an indication of high levels of solanine, a toxic substance that can be a warning sign for potentially harmful elements within the potato.
Is Solanine Harmful? Impact on Health
A toxic compound called solanine occurs in potatoes, most likely towards the surface and in the green parts of the tuber. The solanine itself is flavorless but it might make potatoes taste bitter compared to normal ones.
This compound is non-lethal and only has the potential to induce solanine poisoning when consumed in high amounts. Then how much is high? According to research, solanine will be considered as being hazardous when it makes up 10% of the body weight. The longer period the potato is exposed to sunlight, the more serious this effect is.
When green potatoes are ingested, there is a risk of solanine poisoning. Accordingly, consuming green potatoes can cause some side effects including nausea, wheezing, headaches, fever, and stomachache.
Additionally, if you witness more intense symptoms like a slower heartbeat or numbness, you should seek medical attention right once.
Are Green Potatoes Harmful Or Not?
To be honest, shortly, we should not eat a green color potato. Potatoes that were exposed to direct sunshine or any kind of light have already started to deteriorate. Not all but many of the potatoes we’ve ever seen in the supermarkets have already turned a dangerous shade of green. They might have a bad effect on your or your children’s digestive systems and are not safe to eat.
However, one poisonous potato can not harm you. Solanine does not hurt potatoes until it reaches a high solanine level.
Recycling & Taking Use Of Potatoes Turning Green
Add To A Compost
If you have doubts about solanine, composting is a great option as it allows you to reuse the potato and retrieve its nutrients. The bacteria in the compost and the green potato will not be harmed.
Regrowing The Potato
Planting the potato again allows you to ensure it grows properly. This is a simple way to reuse green potatoes.
Process Before Cooking
Peeling the potato will indeed reduce solanine toxicity. It does remove 30% amount of green harmful substances as it appears mainly on the potato’s upper surface.
You can still use potatoes by removing tiny green patches and bitter taste portions. However, removing the potatoes with green spots may not be easy. Using a peeling knife can help you peel the raw potato without removing the rest of the potato too much.
Furthermore, intense heat like boiling and frying the potato will minimize side effects, making green potatoes safe to eat.
Effective Growing Potatoes
Proper planting potatoes techniques are crucial in preventing them from turning green by the following tips:
Potatoes need soil that is deep, loose, well-drained, and free of rocks.
Plant tubers after a major frost has passed.
Plant them in 2-foot-distance rows, 10 to 12 inches apart, 2 to 3 inches deep, and with their sprouts upward.
– Store them in a cool, dark place (basement, cabinet) with minimal exposure to light, especially avoiding direct sunlight.
– Keep appliances like refrigerators and other electronic devices that produce heat far away from the potatoes. Cooler environments lengthen their fresh lifetime, the ideal cold ranges from 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Even though cooked potatoes can be frozen for more than a year and refrigerated for 4 days, their quality will decline. As a result, by employing proper methods, you can preserve potatoes for over a year before the light causing potatoes to turn green and become inedible.
While green potatoes may lead to concerns about their safety, it is important to approach their consumption with a thorough understanding of the associated risks. By recognizing the potential dangers of solanine poisoning and implementing safe practices, individuals can make informed decisions regarding the consumption of green potatoes.