The sprouting process is natural although it is not particularly welcome as it strips the spud of beneficial nutrients. This is because the appearance of the tiny sprouts kickstart the conversion of starch to sugar that will foster the growth of a new potato plant.
Are sprouting potatoes safe to eat?
YES. However, you have to pay attention to factors like the number and the size of sprouts as well as just how wrinkled the spuds are. At the beginning of sprouting, you may observe that there are soft spots around what used to be the eyes and are now the sprouts. All you have to do is remove the sprouts and any soft spots, and your potato should be fine to cook.
On the other hand, if you observe that the potatoes already bear too many sprouts, and are too wrinkly, then you may want to avoid cooking those. Such sprouted potatoes have lost a great portion of its nutrients and won’t be palatable
Are there toxins in sprouted potatoes?
YES. Potatoes contain solanine and other glycoalkaloids which are toxic to humans and may cause headache, vomiting, and other digestive symptoms. These substances are concentrated in the eyes, sprouts, and skin.
However, don’t stop eating potatoes because of this information. All you have to do is peel off the eyes, sprouts and skin (especially if green) before eating the potato — plus you’d have to eat a lot of sprouts and green skins to make yourself sick!
Can this sprouting be prevented?
Fortunately, YES! It is nearly impossible not to buy many potatoes especially when they are on sale and thankfully, you don’t have to avoid that. Keep these tips in mind:
The perfect store for your potatoes has to be cool, dry, and dark.Keep the spuds away from onions!Dryer, late-harvest potatoes keep best.You may also select heirloom varieties that have a long-proven reputation as good keepers.If your potatoes are homegrown, you have to dry them outdoors to make them suitable for long-term storage.