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P is for Potato.....

That's right.... today's "poison" is the common Po-ta-to.....

Or, most specifically, the green potato---

The storage suggestion for potatoes, to keep them in a dry and "dark" place, is less about keeping the potatoes fresh and more about keeping the potatoes safe to eat.

As unassuming as the ordinary potato is, we most time (okay, perhaps, all the time) forget that the potato is a member of the deadly nightshade family.

When potatoes are stored in a lighted area, especially with lots of fluorescent light, the potato "thinks" it's no longer buried underground and produces chlorophyll pigments to make use of the light and as a defense mechanism, a bitter-tasting alkaloid toxin to discourage animals from eating it. Consume enough green potatoes and the toxin acts very much like strychnine.

Po-tay-to Po-tah-to

Heed what your granny said,
don't eat the skin that's green,
store your tubers dry and dark,
to keep your tater clean.

                                                                                     --- e.a.s. demers


  1. Heck - I wish I had read this a week ago as those potatoes (not kept in the dark) did not taste good.

  2. I'd never heard that poem before... but, like the spuds in the basement, it's SO cool!

    1. LOL... well, the poem is an original, so I wouldn't have expected anyone to have heard it before---- :-)

  3. I never realized that is why my mother kept them in a drawer!
    I knew the green skin was bad, but didn't know it was light
    that activated the poison! And here I keep mine in a bag the light! I always thought that if you cooked them, that took care of any little 'greenness' they might have. Does it? I need to know more about the potato so I don't poison anyone!

    1. Cutting the green part of the potato away helps... supposedly, deep-frying the 'green' potatoes takes care of the toxin, but, I think I'd rather cut the green off :-)


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