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Potatoes are a root vegetable, without which it is difficult to imagine many cuisines of the world. Every house has potatoes. Most gardeners grow it on their site. This food product grows rapidly, has a long shelf life, is not capricious and costs the average resident of the country very inexpensively. Surely you have repeatedly observed how the potatoes turn green.
Why do potatoes turn green during storage? How to prevent greening of potatoes? And can a green root vegetable be eaten? This will be discussed in this article.
The reasons for the appearance of green on tubers
Under the influence of sunlight, certain chemical reactions occur, as a result of which the potato tubers turn green. Chlorophyll is contained under the skin of a potato. The fact is that under certain conditions, under the influence of ultraviolet and infrared radiation, the process of photosynthesis in potato tubers is triggered.
Chlorophyll is found in all plants, and in the process of chemical reactions, a green color is obtained in the light. In some cases, the leaves turn purple as a result of this process. Initially, tubers are not green just because the sun's rays do not penetrate into the soil.
Important! Under artificial lighting, potatoes cannot turn green, since the process of photosynthesis is only triggered by sunlight.
Now you know why potatoes turn green and why store this root vegetable in a dark place protected from sunlight. However, it is worthwhile to deal with another important issue accompanying this topic - is it possible to eat potatoes that have acquired a green color.
Poison in a saucepan or why green potatoes are life-threatening
Surely everyone knows that potatoes are a plant from the nightshade family. All nightshades contain the strongest poison - solanine. Photosynthesis promotes the production of poison in potatoes.
Also, this substance is found in fruit boxes and foliage. They contain much more solanine than tubers.
Green potatoes contain a lot of solanine. Why is this poison dangerous? First, it inhibits the brain or central nervous system, and secondly, it promotes the destruction of red blood cells in the blood. Solanine leads to fever, dehydration, and seizures. An organism weakened by diseases may not cope with the poison and die.
Warning! Heat treatment does not neutralize the poison.
According to studies carried out in Austria, those potatoes are considered life-threatening if 100 g of which contains up to 40 milligrams of solanine. When excavated from the ground, up to 10 milligrams of this substance is usually present in potatoes, but by the spring, its amount, if stored improperly, can triple.
According to the FBI, many of the terrorist textbooks seized in Afghanistan describe the spectrum of action of solanine as a weapon of mass destruction. Those books describe how to get poison. So, you can kill a person with ordinary potatoes.
How to identify poisoning
There are several signs of solanine poisoning:
- Mucosal irritation.
- Heaviness in the stomach.
- Arrhythmic, uneven pulse.
To help the victim, the first thing to do is to flush his stomach, give a laxative, make an enema, drip cordiamine and give strong cold coffee and tea to drink.
To prevent the potatoes from turning green, they should be properly stored after digging them out of the ground. These should be light-tight bags, but never rope nets or plastic bags.
If you store potatoes on the balcony, remove them immediately. The balcony is very poorly protected from sunlight. It is better to purchase this product in small portions and store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, which will prevent the tubers from wilting. The packaging must be leaky. Before heat treatment, peel the vegetable from the skin, cutting off the skin in a thick layer, as solanine accumulates in it. Discard green potatoes immediately.
We invite you to watch a video that shows what affects the safety of potato tubers: