It would appear that over time people have lost touch with the imperfection of natures bounty. Whilst the humble potato is a great source of complex carbs it harbours some real gotchas. The main toxin concerned is the glycoalkaloid solanine, this toxin is present in the leaves stem roots and outer few mm of the potato itself. There are many traditional steps of preparation that alleviate this concern, but the fact that in australia we sell potato skins as a pub served dish is disturbing. 

   Basically the way to avoid this toxin is as follows:

  • Discard all potatoes that have evidence of chlorophyl from light exposure(greening)
  • Keep potatoes in the dark from harvest to consumption time.
  • remove the eyes on the potato with a generous margin like cutting out skin cancer
  • peel the potato generously and never eat the skins (that right no jacket potatoes)
  • Boil or steam the potatoes before use and discard all water before adding them to a combined cooking process like stews or soups.

  In relation to the pealing of potatoes the end of the peeler usually comes with a tool for taking out the eyes. I personally like perpendicular peelers for safety and comfort.

  As for the greening, This is indicative of light exposure. The light exposure creates both chlorophyl and solanine in the potato on most varieties. So the greening is just an indicator that this is a risky potato. There are varieties of potato that produce solanine on light exposure but little chlorophyl, These are dangerous in shopping centres as you have no idea about solanine production levels due to fluro lights. This in my opinion means that all potatoes should be black bagged....but that is just my opinion.

This is just a summary of my limited knowledge and please take it with the understanding that I am but a humble Vegan and mostly educated in fields far from biology. I hope this is of use and welcome the input of others. I am particularly interested in the history of cultivation and varieties with different solanine potentials..cheers

Vegan Ape

Tags: cooking, diet, health, toxin, vegan

Views: 26

Replies to This Discussion

Seems like a lot of work to make sure something is safe to eat. Probably would be best to avoid potatoes all together.

This is true and something I had wondered for some time but they have some good properties as well. They are exceptionally easy to grow and very climate tolerant which makes them available in many countries on a low cost per nutrient basis. This is important when considering food crops for the future. They also have some complex starches that are difficult to digest and act as sudo finer as I understand it. But point taken..cheers

Regrds

Vegan Ape

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