Is it safe to eat green potatoes?



Every once in a while, I'll find a potato with green in my pantry, and I'm never sure if it's okay to just cut off the green part and eat the rest or if I should compost the whole spud. Should. This is what the experts say.

Experts weigh in: Are green potatoes safe to eat?

The green color in potatoes is chlorophyll, a naturally occurring compound that indicates that the potato has been exposed to light.

“Chlorophyll, which gives potatoes their green color, is not harmful. However, the green parts may indicate other compounds that may be harmful to humans if consumed in large amounts,” says the Academy of Nutrition. says registered dietitian Amy Bragnini, national spokesperson for End Dietetics.

These compounds are called glycoalkaloids and include a natural toxin called solanine. The highest amount of solanine is found in the skin of the potato and around the eyes of the potato where it begins to germinate.

“Consuming large amounts of solanine can lead to gastrointestinal complications including diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting and sweating,” says Braggannini. “Given the bitter taste of green potatoes, I doubt it would be difficult to consume enough solanine to make someone sick.”

To be on the safe side, peel the potatoes and cut off the green parts. Next, be sure to cook the potatoes to help further reduce solanine levels.

“Since the toxic glycoalkaloids are concentrated in the green part, if the green part is small, you can peel the skin and cut the green pieces,” explains Rui Huang, Ph.D., student representative of the Institute of Food Technologists Fruit. are.” and distribution of vegetable products. “However, if green takes up a large area, it's best to discard or compost it.”

Simple recipes / Photo illustration by Wanda Abraham / Getty Images


The best way to store potatoes is so that they are not green.

To prevent your potatoes from turning green and sprouting, it's best to keep them in a cool, dark, dry place to prevent chlorophyll from forming.

“After I buy potatoes, I put them in a black paper bag and keep them in my pantry,” Bragnini says. “Before putting them in the pantry, I poked holes in the bag to promote air circulation.”

She recommends buying only the amount of potatoes you plan to eat in a few days. “The longer the potato sits outside and is exposed to light, the more likely you are to get a green potato,” she says. “And if you're anything like me, I hate throwing away food.”

Are green potato chips safe to eat?

What happens when you reach into a bag of potato chips and see that some are green? They were made from potatoes that had been exposed to light and contained glycoalkaloids. You don't have to toss the whole bag, but you do want to skip the green chips.

“As long as you don't eat too much, it's safe, but try to avoid eating the green part,” says Huang.

Bragagnini agrees. “It's okay to use a few green potato chips. However, if there are a lot of potato chips in the whole bag, I recommend finding a new bag of chips.”


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