Friday, June 16, 2006

Beware The Eyes Of Mash

Are the eyes of potatoes poisonous?

Last weekend we were at a friend's house, and said friend was peeling potatoes for dinner that night. I was shooting my mouth of as usual and told her to make sure she got all the eyes out because they were poisonous. I said that "if you ate a bowl ful of potato eyes you would drop dead."

Some nincompoop once said that to me in a former life and I thought it was such a funny notion that I now repeat it as fact. But are the eyes of potatoes poisonous?

I did some web searching and found two links that support my idiotic statement:

When potatoes were first introduced to the Europeans, they were recognized as belonging to the nightshade family along with eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, and tobacco, and were considered poisonous. In fact, potatoes do contain poison in the form of glycoalkaloid enzymes which are always present within 3 mm (1/8 in.) of the surface of the potato, with the highest concentrations in the eyes or sprouts.... Light causes potatoes to turn green and accelerates the production of solanine... Grocery store fluorescent lighting can induce potato greening in 12 hours to 5 days, with potato greening occurring most quickly at room temperature (68° F). When potatoes are exposed to light and UV radiation, the rate of solanine formation can increase tenfold.

the leaves of rhubarb, tomatoes and potatoes are poisonous if eaten. Not just the leaves of the potato, but if the potato is green or has spouts, do not eat it. The sprout is the beginning of a new potato plant - new poisonous leaves will come from these. The sprout is also known as the eye of the potato.

I don't see any reason to continue searching, do you?

So, if anyone ever puts a bowl ful of potato eyes in front of you - don't eat it or you'll drop dead.

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