ANSWERS: 3
  • Actually, the green colour is not 100% reliable as an indicator of solanine as bitter taste. If that black potato doesn't taste right, don't eat it!
    • Linda Joy
      Well, besides that it would take more than one potato with solanine to make you sick from what I read.
  • Potatoes like carrots, peanuts, turnips and all other eatables that grow under ground are classified as "night shades". All night shades are slightly poisonous. Green potatoes and potatoes that have sprouted should not be eaten because they more poisonous and dangerous to eat
    • Linda Joy
      Peanuts are legumes (not a true nut). I know potatoes and tomatoes are from the nightshade family. I looked up if carrots were and this is what popped up: "Members of the family Solanaceae, common nightshades include white (but not sweet) potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers, both the eye-watering chilies and the sweeter bell peppers. ... The list of edible nightshades is fairly short, but the list of poisonous ones is quite extensive." I don't think being a root vegetable has anything to do with it.
    • bostjan64
      @Thinker: The only vegetable you mentioned that comes from a nightshade family plant is the potato. Literally nothing else you listed happened to be identified correctly. Carrots are Apiales, and peanuts and turnips are Rosids, which are unrelated to nightshades. None of the other vegetables you mentioned contain any of the toxins associated with nightshades, either, which are Solanine (LD50 of 3.5mg/kg), Atropine (LD50 of 4.5 mg/kg), Nicotine (LD50 of ~27 mg/kg), Capsaicin (LD50 of 47.2 mg/kg), and Cocaine (LD50 of 96 mg/kg). Carrots do contain a toxin called falcarinol, but there is no LD50 data on it, as it is far less toxic than any of the other compounds I listed. And peanuts are only deadly to people who are allergic to them. Also, saying "all nightshades are poisonous", while technically true, may be very misleading. The edible parts of nightshade plants are so low in concentration of toxins that you'd sooner die from a ruptured stomach from eating too much. And the most highly toxic parts of the most dangerous plants can be lethal in relatively small amounts. For example, to kill someone with a bell pepper plant, you would have to highly process the plant to isolate the toxins, and it would take several bushels of the plants to yield a lethal injection of distilled toxin- which wouldn't even be worth the effort for the most patient assassin.
    • Thinker
      Thank you for the corrections. I read at one time years ago that all vegetables and the peanut because they grew underground were considered nightshades. I guess what I remembered was incorrect. Thank you again.
    • Linda Joy
      I've had a lot of my misinformation corrected here, too!
    • bostjan64
      Any time. This is AB, not a scholarly journal, so we all make mistakes here. At least I certainly do.
  • Also probably worth noting, botulinumtoxin, which is produced by several common bacteria that spoil food in dark moist places, is 3000 times more lethal than solanine which is found in essentially trace quantities in green potatos. So, if the potato was black because it rotted in your cellar, it's probably a lot less okay to eat than the green potato. Plus, the potato might have turned green before it turned rotten anyway, and you'd not be able to tell if it were black, so it could contain just as much solanine along with several other toxins from the rotting action. TL;DR - Don't eat a questionable potato.
    • Linda Joy
      Too late! But I'm still here!
    • bostjan64
      Have you ever seen "Scrooge" with Albert Finney? I love the scene in which Jacob Marley's ghost first visits Scrooge. In the book, Scrooge doesn't believe Marley is real, and ponders whether he is having hallucinations from food poisoning. In the 1970 film, Albert Finney either botches or stylizes his lines, accusing Marley's apparition of being "a bit of old potato." LOL
    • Linda Joy
      That stuff was definitely more prevalent then. Your description here reminds me of when Gomer Pyle was sleep walking and talking after eating rabbit soup, I think.

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