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Would to much water turn potato green?i planted mine and hilled when plant was six inches high. We had a lot of rain. Garden flooded. After drying out we dug a hill. Two of the eight had green on sides. These spuds were approximately eight inches deep,no chance of sunshine getting on them. Could being in wet conditions cause green and is it toxic
Hi Rod, great question! Maybe, but then the green is coming from something other than chlorophyll. The green that I’ve described here comes from chlorophyll which plants can only get from sunshine. Since sunshine also causes the toxic solanine, chlorophyll green is an indicator of the toxin. Have you tried asking a farmer that sells potatoes at a local farmer’s market?
thank you for the info.. been having stomach problems after eating some very lightly green-tinged potatoes (which i didn’t peel, cos it’s all scrubbed and clean) which tasted a bit bitter. now i know what’s the cause!
Thank you for your very important and informative website on the danger of eating green potatoes..publishers should include a food safety page including this type of information…
I first learned of this danger as I was gleaning interesting information from 92 Civil War letters of my great great Grandfather. He writes in many of his letters of the severe illness that eating very green potatoes caused, including hospitalization and extreme weakness; Recovery was slow..No doubt the storage conditions were filthy in their encampments..Things are much better now; but I see some pretty green potatoes in the bags and I just purchased a large bag of Montana potatoes from the farm; the potatoes in the center of the bag were realy green!
Again, thank you for information that should be up front for all to see.. Encluding info on the dangers of raw red kidney beans. Keep up the good work. ATV
I grew some potatoes and they were not green when i dug them up. I stored them in a completely dark place and they still turned green? Do you know why?
No idea. The green comes from chlorophyl, which only turns green when in sunlight. The potatoes can get bruised, even if stored in the dark, in which case the color will be more black-ish. ~Elise
Thanks, I always knew not to eat green potatoes, but I never knew why. The wisdom passed down from mother to child, just not why it was wise. I’ll be sure to let my children know. :)
Ack! XD. I just found this site now. I should have googled green potatoes before I made my omlette last night.
The potatoes were green inside and since the whole bag seemed like that, I thought it was normal, so I cooked it and ate it anyway.
Over the night I had the symptoms of food poisoning and didn’t connect the dots until now. I thought maybe it was something else, until I remembered the green potatoes.
Don’t eat green potatoes!
I’ve taken activated charcoal to start pulling all the toxins from my system, and feel like I’m getting better today. Lesson learned there.
We get ‘greenies’ down under too. Though it’s a rare occurrence, we’ll get the odd 1 or 2 green spuds. I either whack the green bit off or bin the entire spud if it’s green all over. Just a note…the nightshade family also includes tobacco too. Makes ya wonder a bit. And with all the fish & chips I’ve had in my life, (NOT healthy but quick & tasty), NEVER have I had a ‘greenie’ in the chip (french fry) bag.
Thank you for what you do here.
The green part is just an indication of the poison in the potato.
Cutting out the green will not remove the poison that is throughout the potato.
Children and the elderly are most effected. The poison last more than 24 hrs. so it is cumulative.
Return the potatos to your grocer and get your money back.
Jim Furr >>
Hi I just wanted to know if it would still be a problem to eat the potato if it was green but you peeled it only after you boiled it. Would it make a difference from if you peeled the green part off before boiling it?
My advice would be, if the potato just has a little green spot, cut out and discard the green part either before or after boiling. If it has lots of green, throw the whole thing out. ~Elise
In the past few months, I have purchased bags of potatoes from various different stores and have always found a number of bad potatoes in every bag. Usually they had black spots surrounding white moldy areas inside the potato, often up to an inch deep. Due to my frustration with the sheer volume of bad potatoes per bag, I decided to try a pricey organic bag to see if it was any better. I just brought it home and found that the potatoes were green inside. I had never seen a green potato before. Fortunately I googled “green potato” and found your site before I ate it. I’m pregnant, so I especially don’t want to be ingesting any extra toxins right now. Thanks for your informative post!
Years ago my husband cooked up mashed potatoes with too much green–I’d been taught to remove the green parts, but he’d been taught to eat anything that doesn’t run. I noticed a slight funny sensation on my tongue, similar to what you get from chewing a bit of tomato leaf, but decided to “not be a baby” and eat it anyway. Hah, last time for that one! I felt sick for days… Not horribly sick, just draggy, nauseous, headachy blah that went on and on. You don’t have to toss the whole potato, just peel off all of the green.
Thank you for the pictures. I visited several sites before yours because I was trying to find pictures.
I read your article and most of the postings, and I still have some confusion about the peel being green and right under it. When I peeled the potatoes the green-ness went away. But is it still safe enough for children if I have peeled away all the green?
Again, thanks for the pictures, very helpful!
If you have a potato that has a small green spot and/or bruise, then you should peel it away. The rest of the potato should be fine. If you have a potato that has a lot of green, or very bruised, I would throw it out. ~Elise
My husband did not hill our potatoes this year, or at least hill them enough. So we have lots and would like to know if we can use them for planting for next year?
No idea. I would consult your local nursery. ~Elise
They are deadly to dogs. A couple nights ago, my friends small dog got into a trash bag which contained green parts of the potatoe which had been disgarded from that evening meal. Their dog started throwing up and it died within an hour. When cutting those parts out, put them in garbage disposal to avoid this happening to another animal.
I’m a regular visitor to your blog, and have used several recipes (always to great effect– thank you!). I read this post awhile back, but today was the first time I ever encountered a green potato. Thank you for making me aware of the presence of solanine– probably saved me a few sick days :).
Wow! I never thought this can be very dangerous. I am so lucky that I have read this. Whenever I cook French fries, I just ignore the green stuff, thinking it is just normal. Thank you very much for informing people about this.
I grew up on a potato farm in NW MI and have known about green potatoes and sprouts my whole life. I recently was having a potato emergency and bought a bag of MI russets that were in a plastic bag (that was all that was available at the moment). In the store, under florescent lighting, they looked fine, at home in my kitchen, the entire bag was green, all over. So disappointing! One tip I have is only buy your potatoes in a paper bag and make sure the screen has been facing downward. Store lights will turn the potatoes green fast. My dad would get so upset when he noticed the potato bags upside down in the stores (we delivered our potatoes to all the local stores) and would take the time to educate every produce manager about the damage light can do to a potato. Potatoes need to breath, so putting them in a plastic bag will shorten their life, as will storing them next to onions. I always try to buy potatoes that have been grown in the state that I reside as I don’t really need a potato that has traveled 2000 miles from Idaho. The short exposure time at farm markets is nothing to worry about, most stands won’t have their produce out in direct sunlight, precisely to avoid the green potato from happening.
WOW thanks for the information, I didn’t know that potatoes could be poisonous :(
My father always taught me not to eat green potatoes, and that the whole potato should be discarded as it’s not enough to just cut away the green bit.
As you’ve already stated the green bit is chlorophyll and indicates that the potato was exposed to light, while the solanine is colourless and odorless. According to my father it can be evenly spread throughout the potato but is most concentrated in the peel.
So I guess if you want to cut away the green bit and eat the rest, you should at least make sure it is peeled.
I ate a baked potato that had a green part once. Oh dear. SEVERE vomiting and diarrhea. SEVERE. Seriously. I didn’t eat any kind of potato for a good six months.