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My potatoes have "eyes." I know the eyes themselves are poisonous, but is the rest of the potato okay or not? Answered

(And does anyone know why are they called "eyes," anyway?) Thanks.


The eye of a potato is ok to eat along with the rest of the potato; however, if the potato eye is sprouting, that sprout and eye has become somewhat unfit to eat. IF the potato starts to turn green (usually seen under the skin), it is becoming poisonous. Although chlorophyll in itself is not poisonous, it is an indicator that the potato has become active and is producing chemicals one should not ingest.

A potato that had sun exposure, will also have this green coloring on one side of it (called sun burn) and it to is not safe to eat, IMHO.

For more information on this, go to This site, and scroll down to TOXICITY and read up on this.

Do NOT take Rachael Ray's advise in her little video found here although she is generally right with what she is saying, there IS a potential for toxicity as shown in the previous article I linked to.

I hope this helps.

I'm aware this is a very old answer. However, I feel it's important to note that the link provided is, first, to the Wikipedia page on potatoes. And second, in the toxicity section it states that there have been no potato related deaths in the US in the last 50 years.

"However, I feel it's important to note that the link provided is, first, to the Wikipedia page on potatoes."

I feel that it's important to ask: So?

THANK you. Wikipedia has changed very much from when it first started out so there are citations provided where necessary as well as notations made where they might still be needed.

I was gonna post almost exactly this: you beat me to it. Good stuff

Thanks, all too often, things need to be all the way to the right or all the way to the left.....there is a middle of the road in many cases where things are a lot fuzzier then people would like to admit. Saying things are always safe always raises red flags for me. The same goes for saying something is never safe :-)


8 years ago

I keep my pot's in an old hessian sack. At least store them in the dark. As has been said, solanine and the human digestive system are not compatible.

You "knows betters now"? LOL, I guess we "knows" what at least one of the long term effects of ingesting green potatoes as a child are.

You don't have to be a jerk, he accidentally added an S onto the end of a word, thats all.

Yeah, I store mine in the vegetable bins at the bottom of my fridge (Bugs Bunny having proven that it's dark in there when you close the door and the little light goes out :). Since any fresh green veggies I put in there tend to get forgotten about until too late, I figure I might as well use them as my "root cellars." :)

The problem was that my neighbo(u)r didn't know what to do with her eye-sprouting potatoes, and so gave them to me, on the theory that I would know what to do with them.

I just learned about green potatoes being poisonous.
We used to eat them as kids. I wonder what kind of effect it had on us. There was no such thing as a potato gone bad in our house. Green, black, sprouting, we ate them all.

Not that I am in any way recommending that to anyone ever. I knows betters now.

Thanks to all and sundry for your replies. :) It turns out that when I said "eyes," I meant "sprouting eyes." (In this case, the chlorophyll thing wasn't happening, so the sprouts were ghost-ghastly white.) The potatoes in question have been fully de-eye-ified and peeled*, and are presently boiling away in preparation for The Great Mashing. (*Potato peels being chock full o' all the good things that Seandogue mentioned, I generally leave them on as long as they are reasonably fresh and in good shape. But these particular peels weren't.)

As long as you cook the things properly you're fine, eyes or not. L

Just cut the "eyes" out and peel the potato. There you go, edible.

The eyes are the new sprouts from which new potatoes grow, if they are placed in the ground. Just peel your potato, and cut off any green bits, if there are any - it should be fine.

If you want,put your peelings into the ground ; quite a few will flower up and you will have a batch of potatoes in the ground! However, from experience, and from what others have said, potato plants are very hard to get rid of once planted - you need to sieve the ground where they have been planted to stand any chance of removing them for good.

If they are just buds, they're fine (I've been eating potatoes with eyes since I went onto solids, no side effects in 40 years). In fact, if your potato has green patches of skin, all you need to do is peel off the green until you get to the white. Actually, if it's only a pale green, I tend to eat them...

i'm assuming you're calling the green growths of the potato eyes. Yes this green part is poisonous it contains the chemical solanine. Solanine can affect you both neurologically and gastrointestinally. Normally a potato is beneath the ground where it is protected but when it's above the ground it is not protected. Thus it produces the chemical solanine as a defense against bugs. Now if your potato is green, the green is from chlorophyll. The greeness of a potato only tells you that there is solanine in it, not that solanine is green. To remedy this problem you need only to peel the potato until there are no green parts left on the potato. Personally just to be safe I'd peel the whole thing just to make sure.