Potatoes Green Inside

You just came home after doing grocery, and guess what? The potatoes you bought are green inside. You might be confused about what is it? How did it happen? Are the potatoes still edible? The reason for that is maybe the potatoes were probably exposed to too much sunlight. That’s why they turned green inside. What should you do? Throw the green potatoes away? Or you just cut off the green part and then cook them? It is all just a matter of choice.

But having the right knowledge of the potatoes turning green inside is important. In this article, we will be discussing the reason for green potatoes, how do they taste like? Should you eat green potatoes? And can you get the potatoes to turn back to normal again?

Why are Some Potatoes Green Inside?

The reason for your potatoes turning green may be the potato was exposed to the sunlight, Pennstate Extension says. While potatoes like every other vegetable require sunlight to grow, but excess of it may cause certain problems, one of them is the potatoes going green from inside.

Due to excessive sunlight or any other light, chlorophyll and Solanine are produced in the potatoes. Solanine is generally found in all kinds of potatoes, most probably on the surface of the potatoes. Solanine is an uncolored non-harming poison having a sour or tart taste. It can compromise the digestion process and can also become a reason for numbness in huge amounts.

The solanine does not negatively affect the health of potatoes until it is too much. That is why you should peel off those tiny green spots immediately to avoid solanine poisoning. But if that is still not working for you, consider getting rid of those potatoes.

Moreover, if the potatoes still aren’t tasting normal, avoid eating them, doesn’t matter if you cut off the green spots or not. The green potatoes are quite unhealthy for your kids as well, because your kids’ body immunity to digest the solanine is relatively poor.

Are Green Potatoes Safe to Eat?

If you need a simple one-word answer then NO!. If you want to know why? Let’s find out together. The potatoes which were disclosed to direct sunlight or any kind of light, have already become unhealthy, due to the production of solanine and chlorophyll. But if the potato hasn’t turned that much densely green, you can cut off the tiny green spot and eat it.

But nowadays that’s quite a rare situation, a lot of potatoes that we see in the grocery stores today, I’m not saying always, but often they have already reached that harmful green level. If eaten, they can be very toxic for your or your kids’ digestive system.

But no worries because it takes more than one toxic potato to actually cause any trouble for you.

What does it taste like?

The taste? Potatoes that are green inside can be bitter in taste, due to a large amount of solanine present. You may be wondering that we are using the term “Solanine” repeatedly. That is because it is more responsible for turning the potato green inside than any other factor.

So how much is too much? The honest answer would be, it depends. It depends upon your body size and body tolerance. You wouldn’t want to test in on yourself, right? However, studies have shown that taking 2 milligrams per kilogram of your weight is enough to cause trouble, but this number can vary from person to person.

Potential Symptoms from Eating Green Potatoes:

An estimated amount of solanine should be 10% of the bodyweight to be actually harmful. But this effect can increase if the potato is excessively exposed to the sunlight. We are talking about the symptoms of green potato eating that are is fever, you may start having headache, or your stomach starts hurting, you feel unusual cold.

Eating potatoes that are green inside can also cause vomiting, difficulty in breathing, and slowed pulse. After mistakenly consuming the greener potatoes, if you are experiencing these issues, you should look for medical help immediately.

Peeling the Potato to Reduce Solanine:

Will peeling the potato decrease the solanine level? Yes, it will. Mostly, the solanine is found on the upper surface of the potato, which is why peeling it off does take down the risk of solanine toxicity.

Studies have found out that by peeling the green potatoes, 30% of the poisonous elements get cut off, but what about the remaining 70%? The potato flesh has the rest of the 70%, which means that even after peeling the potato, it can still cause trouble.

So how about we boil these toxic potatoes? Or bake them? Or fry them? No! That won’t make things any different. Depending on the color, you should decide how to move further.

Storing Potatoes To prevent them from Going Green:

As you know, the sunlight causes the potatoes to turn green inside, so the simplest course of action would be to keep potatoes away from the sunlight. There are several methods to prevent potatoes from going green.

Highly recommended methods are:

  • Try putting them in the house basement, to provide them with a cold and darker environment.
  • The ideal cold temperature is 40 to 50 Fahrenheit.
  • Keep a fair distance between the potatoes and any electronic item that emits heat like a fridge or something.

To make sure that the potatoes do not interact with the light at all, you should always put soil surrounding the potatoes.

How Long Can you Store Potatoes?

Although potatoes tend to last a long time, precisely how much time? When will they finally start spoiling or turning green inside? The time taken by potatoes to spoil vary from situation to situation, especially it depends on how good are they stored.

Like a simple uncooked potato will start spoiling after a week to a month, but relatively cooler places extend their fresh lifetime. A cooked potato may stay fresh for 4 days in a fridge and for over a year in a freezer, but the quality will surely drop.

Meaning that you can store potatoes for over a year with proper methods at the maximum, or else they will start turning greener, and then you know the drill.

Can Green Potato Turn Normal Color?

Unfortunately, the green potatoes can’t be turned back to normal. However, there is one thing you must know that the green color is not the problem, the problem is the solanine. You can simply reduce the solanine level by peeling the potato, as you all know.

But that technique is viable for small green spots only. If the potato has turned densely green or has bigger and deeper then the best you can do is throw it away to avoid any complication.


In the end, it all depends on you. First of all, you must be careful while buying potatoes. But if you have bought green potatoes mistakenly. Carefully follow the instructions provided above to make the best use of those potatoes.

Furthermore, storing potatoes is a good idea to keep them intact for long, and stop them from going green inside. But the expert instructions must be followed for the best results.

Green potatoes are harmful. But a single potato can’t do much damage, as its solanine level is not that much to cause problems, so if you happen to have eaten one by mistake. Take it easy. It is no big deal.

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