There are few things we love more than potatoes. You can make potatoes into SO MANY amazing dishes, their possibilities are literally endless. But there is one downside to the potato we all know and love: they have to be kept in a very certain environment.
We’ve all heard that potatoes have to be kept somewhere dry and dark but what’s the big deal right? Keeping the potato somewhere damp or bright won’t affect the flavor.
Well, no. But it can affect your health.
When you keep potatoes somewhere too moist or too warm, you’ve probably seen what happens – they tend to sprout and even turn a little green. While you CAN chop off those sprouted areas, it may be best to toss that potato all together. Why? Because it has become built up with a poison called solanine.
Solanine is found in potatoes when the root veggie has been kept in the wrong environment for too long (like we said, somewhere wet, bright, or warm is BAD). If consumed, this solanine can make you extremely sick and can potentially be fatal.
However, The New York Times reported that a 100 pound person would have to eat 16 oz. of a green potato to get truly sick. That’s about one full baked potato. So taking one little bite, while not encouraged, shouldn’t harm you.
It makes sense, then, that most deaths by solanine happen during famine, when people are forced to eat whatever they can to avoid starving – even if it’s green potatoes.
According to The Food Safety Authority of Ireland, you’ll know you’ve ingested too much solanine after consuming a potato if you experience stomach pain and drowsiness. They also suggest that you can peel a green potato and eat the parts that are NOT green, but if the potato tastes bitter, throw it out immediately.
For a little more information of solanine and the risks of eating green potatoes, check out the informative video below.