The question of what is too green for potatoes is best answered by saying when you peeled one, but it was still green, this is the sign to throw it out. Peeling a green potato may help lower the levels of solanine, but as soon as a potato turns green, you are better off throwing it out. Solanine levels are highest on the potato skin, so peeling green potatoes helps to lower toxins, but does not completely solve the issue.
If you obtained a potato with green skin, peeling it removes a large portion of solanine, since it is mostly stored in green skin. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it is best to peel your potatoes as well, as there is still a lot more solanine to find inside of them. Generally, if a potato has an extended greenish hue all over, you cannot remove enough of the solanine material to make it safe to eat.
If potatoes are exposed to light, they produce chlorophyll, which gives them their green color, and can also produce higher levels of solanine. Potatoes will sometimes appear green, which can be an indication that there are high levels of a potentially toxic compound. If the potato, with dark skin, produces chlorophyll, green patches can be observed after the peel is removed.
|When do potatoes get green?||Solanine Toxic Levels|
|When they are exposed to light, they produce chlorophyll that gives them their green color.||A person will hit toxic levels if he eats 20 pounds of non-green potatoes in 1 day.|
|With green color, it also produce a toxic compound which cannot be destroyed even by cooking.||And for green potatoes, a person will hit toxic levels if he eats just 2 pounds of it in 1 day.|
If you are able, you can cut around green patches in a potatoes skin, and still get some good use out of bits that did not start turning green. Cooking does not destroy solanine toxins, so you need to completely remove the green parts from your potatoes. Because solanine is a dangerous toxin, it is recommended that you discard any potatoes that appear to have turned green.
Many people have been ill and suffered due to solanine poisoning, however, it is always recommended that you take the safety into consideration and throw out any potato that might turn green. It is particularly important to keep potatoes with a greenish color away from weak or young children, who have lower body weight, and are thus at an even higher risk of solanine poisoning, according to Michigan State University. In general, people should not eat green potatoes unless they have taken specific safety precautions, like cutting off any green parts of the vegetable that contain a potentially toxic compound.
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Some people are wondering if eating green potatoes will make them sick, or whether skinning or boiling will make them safer to eat. There is no such thing as too much wrong with potatoes, or perhaps that is how you feel, since there are times your potatoes may turn green.
You may think you can just cut out all of the green spots on the potatoes and you will still eat the potatoes, but that does not solve the problem at hand. If your potato has not turned this thickly green, then you may want to slice the small green spots and eat them. If the potato has turned thickly green, or has gotten bigger and deeper, the best thing to do is throw it out, so that you avoid complications.
Take care to store potatoes in cool, dark places, and throw out any potato that turns green or starts to sprout. If you do end up with a few potatoes turning green, use them in dishes that are peeled, rather than baking or otherwise leaving their skins on. To ensure the potatoes are not at all affected by the light, you should always place a layer of soil around the potatoes.
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To really figure out whether or not chlorophyll production is happening on the potato that is covered with black skin, you can scrape a piece off of the skin to see if green is happening on the inside. That greening is not going to harm you, but it does suggest something more sinister is going on inside the potato.
The green that forms on a potatoes skin is chlorophyll, which is not toxic at all (it is a plants reaction to being exposed to light). Chlorophyll, and having it around indicates the concentration of solanine. The presence of chlorophyll in potatoes is actually a very good indication that there are high concentrations of solanine in any potato.
The green colour of potatoes is attributed to the presence of chlorophyll, an indicator of production of the chemical toxin called solanine. That green is the harmless chlorophyll, which a potato creates gladly as soon as it is exposed to natural or artificial light. When the potatos chlorophyll increases, turning it green, chances are that solanine, the chemical component, has increased as well.
Depending on the potato species, you might see one species turning green much earlier than the other, but with only moderate levels of solanine. Solanine is a toxin that penetrates potato, not just green spots, and higher levels of it may be hazardous for humans. Another compound known as solanine makes potatoes bitter, and if you eat too many green potatoes, you could develop solanine poisoning, which causes stomach discomfort, headaches, and fever.
While solanine is found in small amounts in regular-looking potatoes, it takes a 200-pound man eating 20 pounds of non-green potatoes in one day to hit toxic levels. To obtain 2 mg solanine per kilogram of body weight, a 100-pound (45.35 kg) person eating normal-looking (not-green) potatoes would have to consume approximately 90 mg solanine, or at least 11.25 kilograms (about 25 pounds) of potatoes, in a 12-hour period or so, before excretion of the compound begins.
Green potatoes have 250-280 mg/kg total glycoalkaloids, which is 20 times as much as non-green potatoes. The make-you-sick dosage of 90 mg solanine for a 100-lb person might be found in 0.6 kg (about 1.25 lb) green tubers. Various reports have given figures of 30-50 mg solanine/100 gm potatoes; 24 mg/100 gm, 40 gm/100 gm of green-skinned potatoes. If, writes writer Aleksandar Pavlista, 20 pounds of non-green potatoes were exposed to light, which could easily raise the concentration of solanine 10 times, then someone of 200 pounds might be affected in some way by eating two pounds of potatoes.
One report I saw said an adult would need to consume approximately 4-1/2 pounds of green-skinned, unpeeled potatoes in a sitting to have severe effects. Another said it would take a single pound of potato with all the greens removed for an individual to become sick. Eating potatoes with a green interior also causes vomiting, breathing difficulties, and slowing heart rate.
Is it OK to cook slightly green potatoes?
Potatoes often go green when they’re not stored correctly and exposed to light. When cooked, green potatoes lose their sweet flavor and become bitter. Throw away the remaining green potatoes if you unintentionally bake or fry one and taste the bitterness. Taking extra precautions is preferable to endangering your health.