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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.

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