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Eew, What are these Growths on my Potatoes?

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If you buy a 10 pound bag of potatoes, only to leave them in a cupboard for months, chances are you'll recognize the beige or green bumps that begin to bulge and grow on your spuds. Gross, right? What are these things, what can you do to prevent them, and can you eat a potato that's grown them? I have all the answers right here!


What you're seeing are literal potato sprouts! Don't worry-- they're not a big deal. If they're very small, you can cut them out completely before using the potato in your cooking, and nobody will ever know the difference. Potato sprouts are exactly what you think: tiny potato plants getting ready to erupt from the root vegetable. Don't forget that potatoes are the root of the plant, not the leaves or fruit, so this is a completely normal stage of potato maturing.


Can you eat them? No, not really. Sprouts in small quantities won't make you sick, but they can be toxic in large enough amounts. To avoid this, just cut out sprouts completely, not 'off,' because this doesn't eliminate the whole sprout. If the sprouts are big enough, just throw out the potato. Before eating a sprouted potato, just be sure that it's still firm. To prevent sprouts, store potatoes out of sunlight, in a cool, dark place. Store away from other produce, especially onions, which give off gases that may cause faster sprouting.


Photo: Pixabay

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