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Are Pototes With Green Skins Safe to Eat?

Potatoes, Green Skins, and Food Safety

If you're like me, you buy potatoes in huge 5-lb. bags, so you have plenty on hand in case you get the urge to make some potato-leek soup or Shepherd's pie. If you don't use them right away, you store them on top of the fridge or in a bowl on your counter, and you forget about them. When you finally remember, you go to grab them and their skins are green!

It is not that I have anything against green food, but many of us have heard that green potatoes shouldn't be eaten because the green skin is poisonous. Well, I am here to tell you that this fear of the green potato is bit exaggerated.

The green coloring on the skin is a buildup of a chemical called solanine. It's the potato's natural reaction to being exposed to too much light. Solanine causes a bitter taste and if eaten in large quantities, it can cause illness (you'd have to eat a lot though).

If you find slight greening on your potato skins, simply peel off the green sections. Try not to peel off the entire skin because it contains valuable nutrients and the majority of the potato's fiber. Cut away any sprouts as well since they are also toxic.

Fit's Tips: Store your potatoes in a dark pantry instead of out in the open where they're exposed to light. Also, try to plan ahead and buy the amount of potatoes you'll use in a week or two, instead of stocking up for months.


Join The Conversation
pebby01 pebby01 9 years
i've never even heard of them turning green. i keep them in the drawer in teh bottom of my fridge. i always thought if it grew sprouts, teh whole potato should be thrown out
taratootie taratootie 9 years
LOL, soooo I took a food microbiology class and you seriously have to eat like 60 lbs of these in one sitting to even see ANY illness, even in the most sensitive folks! Funny though!
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
Ha mom and I just got into an argument over green potato skins a few weeks back. I said it was no big deal and she maintained that you could get sick - like CANCER sick. I told her that if you got a bit of green you'd be okay, but she still wanted me to throw them out. I didn't, and I'm still alive and well today! :)
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
Wow, i never knew this- then again i never ate a green potato to begin with
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great tips. I keep mine in a container in the dark as well.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Good tip, thanks!
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