According to research conducted at Purdue University, the presence of chlorophyll is responsible for the potato’s characteristic green hue. Because of the sun, the vegetable develops chlorophyll. Potatoes are tubers, therefore they need to be kept underground and in the dark. Chlorophyll is formed when they are kept on a counter or other location that receives regular light.
Some of the potatoes you buy in the grocery may be green because they were grown at a higher elevation, where chlorophyll is more concentrated. The tuber’s white flesh becomes green beneath the skin as chlorophyll does its work. They turn greener in brighter light.
Potatoes with green skins should be thrown away. Not only is it bitter, but it also contains solanine, which, if consumed in large quantities, can have negative health effects. The alkaloid solanine has no discernible hue. Solanine poisoning symptoms include:
Overheating or abnormally low body temperature (hypothermia)
Reduced heart rate and/or shallow breathing
abdominal or stomach pain
Most people have learned to discard the green skin before eating potatoes since it is bitter. It is recommended by the Michigan State University Extension that you wash all fruits and vegetables before cooking and eating them to reduce the risk of getting sick from bacteria and pesticides. To prevent solanine poisoning, it is important to remove the potato’s greens and eyeballs before cooking.
The methods our forefathers used to preserve food were the most effective. All year long, they would stock their root cellars to capacity. Take a cue from them and store your unprocessed foods like potatoes in the fridge or a dark, cool cabinet. Find a burlap or brown paper bag to store your potatoes in, as the plastic and netting bags most come in allow light in.
Avoid overbuying if you lack access to a cool, dark area to store perishables. But if it isn’t, at least the green potato serves as a natural warning against ingesting the alkaloid solanine. Natural warnings can be seen (in the form of greening) or tasted (in the form of bitterness).