There are more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes in the world? Aside from russet potatoes, maybe you also enjoy cooking with more colorful varieties as well, such as sweet potatoes, blue potatoes, Japanese purple sweet potatoes, or even red skin potatoes—the list goes on. However, there’s one color you should avoid eating at all costs: a green potato.
No shade to the color green, but no potato that’s green should be considered edible. At the very least, if parts of the potato look salvageable, cut the green parts out yourself using a knife. However, 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.
References: tiphero.com, eatthis.com