I know the labor force and supply chains have been irrevocably disrupted over the past few years. I know prices are going up. I know people are refusing to work unless they’re adequately compensated & regarded as human beings that exist outside of the workplace. I know there are big problems in the world, but I’m about to drill down on a small one… because that’s what I do.
Social media has told me I’m not alone. We buy a lot of potatoes. We grow potatoes. I am a huge fan of carbs in potato form. I like potatoes prepared in a plethora of ways. I like to use the whole potato. I rarely peel unless I’m mashing them and even then I leave a good bit of skin.
According to Healthline:
Studies have estimated that peeling a potato at home removes at least 30% of its toxic plant compounds. However, that still leaves up to 70% of the compounds in the flesh (4Trusted Source).
This means that in potatoes with very high solanine concentrations, the peeled potato might still contain enough to make you sick.
Unfortunately, boiling and other cooking methods, including baking, microwaving or frying, do not significantly reduce solanine levels. Thus, they won’t make green potatoes any safer to eat (9).
If a potato has just a few small green spots, you can cut them out or peel the potato. Because solanine is also produced in higher concentrations around the eyes, or sprouts, of a potato, they should be removed as well.
However, if the potato is very green or tastes bitter (a sign of solanine), it’s best to throw it away (10).Green Potatoes: Harmless or Poisonous?
So, it’s not always a case of “just cut off the green parts.”
Apparently, I’m not alone in noticing I have seen a lot more green potatoes lately. Are they sitting in warehouses, on trucks, or in stores too long? Are they getting exposed to too much light or heat? Are they coming out green?
Money is tight everywhere. A certain amount of green every once in a while may be acceptable… but I can’t handle ¼ of every bag being waste at the same time prices are going up. I mean, I like to add to the compost bin, but not that quickly.
So, I reached out via email.
Salutations Spud Specialists,
I hope this email finds you well. Living up to stereotypes, my Irish ancestors would be proud at my levels of potato consumption. I’ll eat them just about any way they can be cooked. Keel me over with carbs, please.
I have noticed a trend with potatoes over the last few years and it really has my gears turning. You are not alone. This applies to every bag of potatoes I have bought in the last year, no matter the source. Today I opened the bag which was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I get a ridiculous amount of green potatoes in each and every bag I purchase. Today’s 5 lb. bag contained 8 potatoes which I planned to bake, and 2 were green all over the outside and thus unsuitable for baking. Could I skin & fry or boil or mash them? Sure. The vitamins and taste are in the skin though… as I’m sure you are aware.
I feel like if ¼ of every bag of potatoes I buy is unsuitable for consumption and I’m playing by the pound, there ought to be some rebate. The green skin is poisonous, no? I will be reaching out to all of the producers of bags of potatoes that I buy from now on with similar inquiries.
Did you all fire your potato inspectors at the farm or the processing or packaging plants? Do you have a machine that needs fine tuned? Are you willfully and knowingly shipping toxic tubers?
The cost of everything is going up, and I understand that… but I can’t accept lowering quality standards at the same time. Is it a Big Potato conspiracy?
I hope you had a restful and prosperous Thanksgiving. I stuffed myself with fresh mashed potatoes… my secret ingredients are turkey broth and buttermilk!
I look forward to your thoughts on this green ‘tater epidemic. How can we move forward into a ripe future?
Ya gotta peel for real,
They were quick to reply!
We appreciate you reaching out to us via our website regarding your purchase of Alsum 5# potatoes. Your genuine concern to help us be better is appreciated. We are sorry to hear of this unpleasant experience. As you know, potatoes are perishable and while we do our very best to grow, source, grade, pack and deliver fresh, quality potatoes to your grocery store, no system is perfect.
Lighter skin potatoes like yellow potatoes have a greater susceptibility to turn green due to their lighter skin. For our yellow packed potatoes, we use a light blocker bag to prevent the potatoes from greening. As you know throughout the supply chain there are many factors that may cause the potato to turn green. It could happen at harvest if the tuber is above the ground during harvest, storage conditions in potato bin that might be exposed to light or if the bag of potatoes is sitting on the shelf for an extended period on the retail shelf. In our packaging facility, we do our best on our pack line with our grading team members to toss any potato with greening. We also have machines that are programmed to discard any green potatoes. Additionally, in our warehouse we minimize light exposure of potatoes by keeping the lights dim and rotate out packed potatoes within 72 hours from pack to store.
If russet potatoes turn green means they were likely sitting under light for an extended period to cause the greening on all the russet potatoes.
I’ve included a link to FAQ’s our website to scroll to the section that talks about greening of potatoes, the causes and what to do if you unfortunately experience it: https://alsum.com/faqs/
I have passed along your feedback to m QC and to help us investigate this matter further. Could you provide the following:
- Was this a 5# bag of yellow or russet potatoes?
- What is the 6-digit code on the kwik lok? It’s the plastic closure. This allows us to trace back to the day they were packed.
- When did you purchase the product and from what store and city?
- What is your mailing address to send a refund to?
Thank you for your feedback,
N9083 County Road EF | P.O. Box 188
Friesland, WI 53935 | www.alsum.com
Direct: 920.348.6774 | Fax: 920.348.5174
I will have to write back. I didn’t save the packaging after I found their website & email address. I’m really not looking for money back… I just want to be able to buy bags of potatoes without green ones again.
What say you, internet?