SLC
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NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

I live in Connecticut and the last couple of weeks the temps have been 45-60 during the day and high 20s to high 30s at night.

Due to circumstances, today is the first day I can dig them up.

1. Are the potatoes that are still underground okay? Can they withstand these temperatures?

If yes,

2. If part of the potato is green, is the rest of the potato okay? Or should I discard the whole potato?

3. If worms or whatever got to the potato - there are holes in some of them maybe a quarter in deep or so, is the rest of the potato good, or should I discard the whole potato?

Please let me know as soon as you can, please! Thank you!

PaulF
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Re: NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

question 1: Yes

Question 2: When preparing the potato to eat just trim off the green skin and the rest will be OK

Question 3: As in above, trim out the bad parts and the rest will be just fine.
Paul F

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applestar
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Re: NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

paulF got his post in while I was composing mine! :lol: -- basically the same answers:

I believe they are OK as long as the ground -- and the potatoes -- have not frozen.

When you grow them you realize the fallacy of "perfect looking produce" -- I actually look at them askance now at the store, wondering just what chemicals (pesticides andfungicides) they used to keep them looking that good. :?

Anyway -- peel thick and cut away and discard any green skin and areas under the skin. Usually ony parts that were exposed to the sun -- in sufficiently covered with soil and/or mulch so try to be more diligent next time -- will turn green. If entire small potato or very significant area have been exposed, I do set them aside or toss them in the compost just in case. (if discovered close to planting time in spring, then I'll attempt to use it for seed potato).

Holes -- I have serious wireworms problems so potatoes left in the ground too long after the tops die down can be pretty badly affected. Do try to dig them up right away and sometimes even harvest them smaller than they can get if given a little more time.

For the ones that have been "invaded", I prefer to chase down the tunnels with a knife, cut away and discard affected portions, and try to salvage what I can of the potato since the wireworms ONLY affect the portion that they have tunneled (unless spoilage have been introduced). Smaller pieces can go in soups or mashed or hash browned (use the ones with holes in them first for these kinds of recipes in case the worms are still in them). If I can't get a decent whole sized potatoes to bake, I just cut them all into similar sized chunks and make oven roasted potatoes.
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billw
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Re: NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

Once a potato has greened, the entire potato contains higher amounts of solanine.

The green is merely chlorophyll. The presence of chlorophyll is an indication that the tuber has begun to photosynthesize, resulting in local production of solanine.

You should not eat potatoes that have greened, even if peeled. Most people will not suffer any problems, since solanine is relatively well tolerated and modern potatoes have been bred for low solanine production, but a potato that has gone green still may have easily 10 times as much solanine as normal. They aren't likely to do any lasting damage, but a night spent in the bathroom is no fun.

This is more important if you are breeding your own potatoes, since you won't know the base level of solanine production in those varieties.

BTW, don't discard the green ones - keep them for seed potatoes. The higher level of solanine means that they will be more resistant to pests.

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Meatburner
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Re: NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

So, who's accurate on this?

billw
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Re: NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

Probably both to the extent that, in the normal amounts that we consume potatoes, you aren't likely to experience significant toxicity.
Greening and sprouting occur when potato tubers are exposed to light or are stored in adverse conditions, and these processes are associated with the production of the alkaloids. Initially this occurs at the
sites of increased metabolic activity, such as the "eyes"; but eventually solanines can be detected in the flesh of the tuber, and the normal, high concentration-gradient between the peel and the flesh is lost.
https://www.bmj.com/highwire/filestream/ ... 2.full.pdf

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jal_ut
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Re: NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

Another thing to remember, if the potato is deep fried or boiled, some of the solanine moves into the liquid so there is not as much in the potato. Also most of the solanine is close to the skin. Peel them thick and you remove a lot of the solanine.

OK, you have some ideas. I will just comment that I have not had any problems with peeling potato that was green on one end, and adding it to the pot of potatoes. I think you need to ingest a pretty good dose of the poison to make you sick.

Symptoms of solanine poisoning are nausea and diarhea.

It is certainly a concern though and fatalities are known from it.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

Just a note: When we grow potatoes we should hill them up well so the tubers do not see the light. Then they don't get green. End of problem.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

imafan26
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Re: NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

Would soaking the potatoes for 24 hours work to decrease the solanine levels? I ask because people who are on restricted K diets are told that they can have a 4 oz potato if they cut and soak it in water for 24 hours (change the water a few times) to leach out the potassium.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

billw
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Re: NEED QUICK HELP - 3 SPECIFIC POTATO QUESTIONS

Probably. Solanine is water soluble. I don't see any studies that show the exact solubility or any experiments that determine concentrations before and after, but boiling is typically recommended as a way to reduce solanine content. The combination of deep peeling and boiling is probably sufficient to reduce solanine to harmless levels, based on the low frequency of cases of solanine poisoning.



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