Sunday, October 21, 2007

Potato puzzle

Everybody knows that when potatoes go green you should not eat them because they are poisonous. Last week I was listening to a podcast and heard that information again, this time from a scientist. I was happy to hear that I have not been chucking out green potatoes for nothing all these years.

But surely not everybody chucks out green potatoes. There must be some people with bad eyesight or bad lighting in their kitchens who accidentally eat green potatoes occasionally. It is statistically unlikely that every single person who encounters a green potato throws it away.

And this leads me to the question that has been bothering me for a very long time: If green potatoes are so poisonous, WHERE ARE ALL THE BODIES?

10 comments:

kenju said...

When I come across potatoes with a lot of green, I just peel that part off and eat the rest. It never bothered me!

torrygirl said...

Potatoes go green? I always though that if you left them too long they just grew...
Maybe i need to review my food hygiene.

Badaunt said...

Good grief! Torrygirl! Have I just located one of the bodies?

(Where have you BEEN?)

Keera Ann Fox said...

Hrm. I think the reason you don't find bodies (except maybe Torrygirl's) is because the poisoning doesn't necessarily lead to death first. It first leads to sick, er, illness.

Is my theory. But what do I know. I actually think raw potatoes are tastier than cooked.

Carrie said...

Huh. I never knew that. I don't recall ever seeing a green potato. When mine sit too long it seems like they just shrivel up and start growing roots.

Carrie said...

Ok, I just asked my husband and he thought I was nuts for not knowing green potatos are bad. He said the green meant the potato was not ripe yet and to just cut that part off. Maybe that's why I've never seen a green potato. I don't eat potatos often, so I'm more likely to have shrivelled up root masses than fresh green poison potatoes.

Badaunt said...

The green means the potato has been exposed to light, which makes the alkaline somethingorother that's in them react and cause something horrible to happen. (Can you tell I did not listen VERY closely to the radio podcast?) Anyway, this is why in the good old days potatoes always used to be sold in sacks or paper bags. If you expose them to light, you can't store them.

These days, of course, supermarkets (or supermarket shoppers) demand that potatoes are displayed in plastic bags or in some way visibly, which means that you have to eat them quite quickly or they'll become green and poisonous and start sprouting.

When I first left home my father kindly donated a sack of potatoes to me from his crop (he grew them for a couple of years) and it lasted me a year, and even the ones that started spouting weren't green. These days I buy a packet of six potatoes and if I don't eat them all within a few days they go green, even if I keep them in the dark after buying them. It's REALLY ANNOYING.

But I think Keera must be right about the getting ill rather than dying thing - although I have to say I've never heard of anyone getting ill from green potatoes, either.

Lia said...

I've eaten green potatoes and not gotten sick. I never guessed there was any real problem with them.

torrygirl said...

Putting my absence down to eating a green potato might be a more interesting story than anything that really happened....

Pkchukiss said...

I'm accusing everybody of potato-cide. You can't just throw out potatoes just because they are jealous.

(Probably would help if you knew what they're jealous about)