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Jan 29, 2007 04:36 PM

Potato growing eyes

I joined Chowhound to find good restaurants since I cannot cook so forgive the silly question but, my husband swears to me that once potatoes start sprouting those eyes, they need to be thrown away. I always just cleaned them out then cooked them. Anybody have potato knowledge to share?

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  1. this is not scientific - but if you just cut the eyes off, you'll live - i have experience (lots). it's just like a regular potato.

    1. Potatoes can contain a toxin called solanine, which is found in the green areas one sometimes sees in a potato, as well as in the eyes and new sprouts.

      The consensus seems to be that green potatoes should be discarded, although some reports claim that a potato is safe to eat if the green portions are removed.

      As for eyes and sprouts, cutting them off is apparently sufficient to remove the toxin, and they can be used.

      Removing the eyes, then, is fine. Go ahead and use the potaotes.

      In my experience, however, potatoes that have actual sprouts are past their prime and are often not worth eating.

      1. Sprouting, biosynthesis of chlorophyll (green stuff of plants), and biosynthesis of solanine take place with potato exposure to light. Sprouting can take place without much light and without greening--cut em out and eat. Greening with and without sprouting--usually nothing to worry about, but if you are really concerned, get rid of them.

        1. As you are getting from us, you are right and you DH is wrong. Potatoes will sprout with age. Knock the sprouts off, peel and make mashed potatoes or some really good french fries. The older potato will have more sugar concentration and give you a lovely fry.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Candy

            actually part of this info is wrong. older potatoes have more STARCH, not more sugar, as more of the sugars have converted to starch with age. the starch is what gives you the lovely fluffy mashed potatoes and french fries.

            1. re: choctastic

              Candy is actually correct, and so are you, choctastic, partially...

              Sucrose concentration in the potato increases dramatically with cold storage, known as "cold sweetening," and that's why older potatoes make the best French fries. When older potatoes that have been cold-sweetened are then stored at room temperature a few days before using, then part of the sucrose is converted to starch.