Can You Eat Green Potatoes?

Green potatoes

When you buy a bag of potatoes at the grocery store, at least half the bag of potatoes are starting to turn green. Can you eat green potatoes? Are the potatoes safe to eat?

Find out the answer to this question and learn how to determine how long to keep food in order to keep them safe. 

One of the most widely-grown vegetables in the world is the potato or a stem tuber.

The rhizome, or the root mass, of the potato plant is enlarged and is the part of the vegetable that is eaten.

The potato has five stages of development. Approximately lasting between three to four months.

Because the potato grows underground, we can’t see the changes it makes when it grows.

First stage: sprouting

During the first stage, the eyes from the potato piece develop sprouts which emerge from the ground.

These sprouts become the visible, above-ground portion of the potato plant, the stems and leaves.

During this stage, the piece of potato is the only source of nutrition for the plant.

The temperature of the soil will affect how long this stage takes and sprouting will not happen if the soil temperatures are freezing.

Second stage: plant growing

This second or vegetative stage of the potato’s growth cycle is when the visible portion of the plant emerges and develops.

The leaves, stem and root system of the plant grow and photosynthesis begins, providing nourishment for the growing plant.

During this stage, warmer temperatures of 77 degrees Fahrenheit or more and long days of 14 to 18 hours of sunlight are preferred.

The sprouting and the vegetative states combined can last 1-2 months.

Third stage: Tuber Initiation


The tubers begin forming at the stolon tips of the potato plant, but they are not yet enlarging at this stage.

The stolon tips are lying underground. Because potatoes need sufficient water to grow.

It is very important to healthy potato growth.

Along with watering, photosynthesis continues to nourish the plant and nutrients are stored in these early tubers in preparation for the next stage.

This is the period when the plant also begins to flower.

Fourth stage: Tuber Bulking


The tuber cells expand and grow significantly in the next stage. There is a buildup of carbohydrates, water and other nutrients in the tubers.

This stage lasts the longest, taking up to three months to complete, depending on the growing conditions and type of potato plant.

During this period, the plant prefers cooler temperatures and shorter days.

Fifth stage: Maturation


Photosynthesis now begins to slow down, leading to yellowing vines and fallen leaves.

As the potato tubers continue to bulk up during this period, the visible portion of the plant will slowly die.

As the potato plant progress through this stage, the skin of the potato toughens up, making it more storage friendly.

Can you eat green potatoes?

Everyone loves to eat potatoes. But not everyone pays attention whether the potatoes are green or not.

Can you eat green potatoes? Can your children consume green potatoes?

When potatoes are stored in a warm place, or exposed to the sun, tubers detect that they might be in a suitable growing location and prepare to sprout. 

Chlorophyll production increases, which slowly tints the peel, and eventually some of the flesh, green.

While chlorophyll is a harmless chemical, its presence in potatoes indicates that the tubers have also increased their production of a glycoalkaloid known as solanine.

It is considered a neurotoxin, and ingestion by humans can cause nausea and headaches and can lead to serious neurological problems and even death if consumed.

If you’ve got a green-skinned potato, peeling it will remove most of the solanine, as it accumulates primarily in the green skin.

 A few green spots can also be cut away. Those potatoes are fine for most people to eat.

Only potatoes that have really β€œgone green” have to be totally thrown away.

There are more solanine concentrated in the eyes.  So make sure to completely cut any eyes out.

Don’t just break off any growth, actually cut the eye itself out of the potato. So now you know not only if you can eat green potatoes but how to eat them.

Solanine isn’t the only toxic chemical found in potatoes. A related compound, chaconine, is also present.

Potato’s eyes leaves, and stems are higher in glycoalkaloids than potatoes, but green potatoes contain significantly higher amounts of the toxic compounds than non-green portions.

In general, the solanine is concentrated in the potato skin (30 to 80 percent), so eating just the skin of the potato or its eyes would be more likely to cause a problem than eating green potato.

So before preparing dinner. Take a look at your potatoes befoe peeling.

Potatoes are delicious just make sute you cut out all unnecessary things.

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