Q:

Is it safe to eat raw potatoes?

A:

Quick Answer

In general, it's safe to eat raw potatoes, but it isn't recommended. Uncooked potatoes do have the potential to be harmful.

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Is it safe to eat raw potatoes?
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Full Answer

Most of the toxic substances produced by potato plants are contained in the leaves and stems rather than in the part of the potato that grows underground that is consumed by humans. However, according to horticulturists at Purdue University, once potatoes have been harvested and exposed to sunlight, they may produce green patches on their skin that contain chlorophyll. Although chlorophyll isn't harmful, it is a sign that photosynthesis has occurred.

Another product of photosynthesis is solanine, a toxic alkaloid that is extremely harmful if eaten. For this reason, it is not safe to eat potato sprouts or potatoes with green spots on them. Unlike other harmful substances, including salmonella and e.coli, solanine is not destroyed by cooking.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the best potatoes for making mashed potatoes?

    A:

    Starchy or all-purpose potatoes are the best potatoes for mashing, although starchy potatoes break down better for creamier mashed potatoes. Russet is a good starchy potato, and Yukon Gold is a good all-purpose potato. Waxy potatoes do not mash well.

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  • Q:

    Why do boiled potatoes turn black?

    A:

    Potatoes that turn black after they are boiled do so for a number of reasons, such as undergoing a reaction with the cookware being used, having bruises due to being dropped and being stored in cold conditions. To keep potatoes from turning black, they should not be stored in temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • Q:

    How do you keep cut potatoes from turning brown?

    A:

    Prevent browning of cut potatoes by storing them in water or by squeezing lemon juice over the cut potatoes. You can also add lemon juice or vinegar to the water for added protection against browning. Cut potatoes must be kept refrigerated until ready to use.

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  • Q:

    How long do you microwave sweet potatoes?

    A:

    To cook one sweet potato in the microwave, prick the sweet potato all over with a fork, and heat it on high for five to 10 minutes until tender. Turn the sweet potato once during cooking. Cook two sweet potatoes on high for about 12 minutes in the microwave.

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