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Old 05-19-2020, 04:56 PM
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Are potatoes that have sprouted safe to eat? (need answer kinda fast)


I was preparing a dish for dinner, opened a bag of fingerling potatoes I bought two days ago, and dumped them in the bowl with the sauce I had prepared.

Only then did I realize most of them had sprouted...some sprouts as long as a 1/4", other barely there. With sauce already on them I did the best I could to pluck off any sprouts but doubtless I missed a few little ones.

I did a quick Google search and found conflicting answers to this. I know these have toxins in them that are harmful to people and should be avoided (and cooking does not remove the toxin). FWIW the potatoes still felt firm and not squishy.

That said are we talking one bite and I puke? Two and I drop dead? Avoid at all costs or not really much to worry about with a few small potatoes?

I'd hate to think my whole dinner is ruined (it smells delicious).
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Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 05-19-2020 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:00 PM
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Just dig out the sprouts and you will be fine.
Peal down to avoid any green areas, too.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:07 PM
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Don't eat the sprouts. That's about it.

If you buy non-irradiated potatoes they will sprout. Especially in spring.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:17 PM
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I always cut out any green and used the rest. I'm still alive.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:18 PM
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Don't eat the sprouts. That's about it.

If you buy non-irradiated potatoes they will sprout. Especially in spring.
Thanks (beowulff too).

They came from Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) which only offers organic which is code for over-priced.

But they deliver which I need these days.
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Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 05-19-2020 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:36 PM
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I had some in my soup yesterday and I'm still he...arrrgghhh *thud*

Yes, just cut off the sprouted areas and remove any greenish peel or icky parts and they'll be fine. Bonus: you can plant the sprouted areas and get more potatoes!
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:08 PM
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They're safe to eat. Plant the slips you cut off and grow some taters.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:10 PM
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Green potatoes that have reached the toxic stage don't taste good, either.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:24 PM
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If you eat the green or sprouted parts, you will turn into The Incredible Hulk, that's all. But if you eat too much, it may be irreversible.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:37 PM
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The green color is due to the presence of chlorophyll, the compound used in plants for photosynthesis. The chlorophyll itself is harmless. However, if the potato has started to produce chlorophyll then it is likely that it has also started to produce the toxin solanine, which is colorless. If you cut away all of the green parts you might eliminate the chlorophyll but you won't necessarily eliminate the solanine. You can boil the potato all you want to but it still won't make the solanine go away. The amount of solanine present in a green potato probably wouldn't kill you immediately but it might make you feel bad. I ate some green potatoes one time and i slowly developed a gut-ache for the next couple of days. If I had it to do over again, I would probably plant them instead of eat them.

Last edited by Ynnad; 05-19-2020 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 05-19-2020, 07:37 PM
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People report that you can taste bad potatoes.

Pretty much the only flavour in potatoes is the alkaloids in the skin -- which is one reason why some people prefer skin on their boiled potatoes. But that flavor is also the poisonous stuff -- it's like eating puffer fish at a Japanese restaurant (and, like that, not dangerous if it's done properly)

If it tastes bad, you shouldn't eat it. If you have to force it down, it will make you sick, depending on how much you eat. For this reason, reports of mass poisoning refer to children and soldiers -- people who are told what to eat. I speculate that this is the reason soldiers and poor people skinned their potatoes before cooking -- they had to take whatever potatoes they got, even out of season, and the only way to make it safe was to skin the potatoes.

Most people who report Solamine poisoning do not die. If you don't die, I think there is normally not much in the way of permanent damage. To minimise chance of dying, treat with activated charcoal at the first symptoms, then hospital -- there is treatment for acute poisoning.

I've become much more relaxed about potatoes as I've gotten older and wealthier. As a kid, we peeled potatoes. Now I just eat or throw out.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:17 PM
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Well...I ate my dinner and it was delicious.

Not dead yet. Fingers crossed.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:47 PM
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I have eaten many, many potatoes which have started to sprout. Anyone who stores their own harvest through the winter, in ordinary household storage or root cellar, has done this. Late in the winter potatoes are going to start sprouting; some varieties sooner than others, and later if you have good storage, but almost certainly before the new ones come in. Rub the sprouts off, don't eat the sprouts. Check that the rest of the potato isn't turning green. If no green, go ahead and eat. If green in some parts but not others, cut off the green portions and discard; eat the rest.

If the part of the potato that you're eating is producing solanine, it'll taste bitter. If you get a bitter bite, spit it out. But if you accidentally swallow a bitter mouthful or two, no it won't kill you.

Store potatoes in the dark. If they accumulate too much light exposure, they're liable to green, even if they're not sprouting at all. But if they've been sprouting in the dark, they won't be greening, and won't be hazardous.

Whack-a-Mole, if your potatoes were delicious, then they were fine.

Melbourne -- good potatoes definitely have flavor; and different varieties may have different flavor, though the differences can be subtle. If the potatoes you get are tasteless, they've probably been held in storage too long.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
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Well...I ate my dinner and it was delicious.



Not dead yet. Fingers crossed.
How 'bout now?

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:25 PM
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How 'bout now?

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
Still here. Feel ok.

That said I read symptoms can take up to a day so ask me Thursday.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:49 AM
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Meantime, reading this lurid history will entertain you.

Horrific Tales of Potatoes That Caused Mass Sickness and Even Death
"A greened potato indicates the presence of a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal distress, induce coma or even death within 24 hours of consumption"
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:35 AM
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Well...I ate my dinner and it was delicious.

Not dead yet. Fingers crossed.
You meant to say fingerLINGS crossed, right?

RIGHT????
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Old 05-21-2020, 04:10 AM
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I think it's true that modern potato cultivars are less risky than 'heritage' varieties when sprouted or greening because selection processes that favour a 'sweeter' taste are by definition deselecting the alkaloids (which are typically bitter to taste).

Some of the advice you will find on the toxicity of sprouted potatoes is just very old, and comes from a time when the heritage varieties were the norm.

Personally, if they have small sprouts, I cut them out, but larger sprouts or green patches and I don't use them - but I am sure I am erring on the side of caution.
(I don't waste them though - I set them aside and grow them in the garden)
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:22 AM
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I once frugally pared off the green skin of a potato and boiled it up with the rest. It ruined the whole dish. Bitter does not describe the taste of a greening potato. One little spt I will discard that half, but more than that and out it goes. You'd have to be starving to poison yourself with green potatoes.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole View Post
Thanks (beowulff too).

They came from Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) which only offers organic which is code for over-priced.

But they deliver which I need these days.
"Organic" is actually an old Chippewa word meaning "comes with dirt".
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:49 AM
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That has happened to me occasionally. I simply severed them with a finger nail at skin level and cooked them. I never had a problem.
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Old 05-24-2020, 01:34 AM
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Kimera757 has just posted in another thread an interesting quotation

"A lot of older and wild varieties of potatoes have high concentrations of solanine; some new varieties tested high as well, but most have been taken off the commercial market. "
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