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Subject: What doth a sprouting potato make?
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: White Monkey <k.m.c.ooper[at]chello.nl>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 12:32:01 +0200
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Hi all,

"Everybody knows" that sprouting potatoes are poisonous. But what degree is
"sprouting"? I have one here, a large blue truffle potato, from each eye of
which was growing a 1/2 cm long cluster of sprouts. I scraped them off and
dug out the first few mm of flesh under them, and the potato under there
looks fine. Is this safe to cook with, specifically boiling and cubing it
for use in a leftover-lamb-roast pie? Is it only safe for adult-type humans?
I'm breastfeeding a six-month-old; does that make any difference, or are we
talking a strictly safe potato here?

Thanks,
Katrina

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From: Jill McQuown <jmcquown[at]bellsouth.net>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 04:44:32 -0600
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A sprouting potato makes more potatoes.  As a child I stuck a potato in a
saucer with water and let it sprout; then I put it in the ground and it made
more potatoes.  I was thrilled.  I did the same thing with lima beans; then
I dissected one to show how beans make little sprouts for a school science
project.

Only you or your doctor can determine what is healthy for you to eat when
breast-feeding an infant.

============================

From: White Monkey <k.m.c.ooper[at]chello.nl>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 12:52:07 +0200
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Jill McQuown wrote:
> A sprouting potato makes more potatoes.  As a child I stuck a potato in a
> saucer with water and let it sprout; then I put it in the ground and it made
> more potatoes.  I was thrilled.  I did the same thing with lima beans; then
> I dissected one to show how beans make little sprouts for a school science
> project.
>
> Only you or your doctor can determine what is healthy for you to eat when
> breast-feeding an infant.

Potatoes are OK while breastfeeding. Poison is not. Is this potato
poisonous? If the answer is, "No", then I can eat it. If the answer is "yes"
or  "Not enough to hurt someone over Xpounds weight", then I cannot. So the
question is, "Is this potato poisonous?"

By the way, the way I put it in the header (just for fun) is Shakespearean
era English for "What is the definition of a sprouting potato?" not "What is
made by a sprouting potato?"

Thank you,
Katrina

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From: davincifan[at]earthlink.net (Mac)
Date: 1 Apr 2005 03:08:51 -0800
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White Monkey wrote:
> Potatoes are OK while breastfeeding. Poison is not. Is this potato
> poisonous? If the answer is, "No", then I can eat it. If the answer is "yes"
> or  "Not enough to hurt someone over Xpounds weight", then I cannot. So the
> question is, "Is this potato poisonous?"
>
> By the way, the way I put it in the header (just for fun) is Shakespearean
> era English for "What is the definition of a sprouting potato?" not "What is
> made by a sprouting potato?"

I have to say that I think your query is ridiculous.  If there is any
question that a food is not safe you shouldn't eat it. And this
newsgroup, as Jill was actually indicating, is not the place to obtain
an authoritative answer about the safety of some food. You have *one*
potato you are wondering about.  One.  Toss it and use a potato that
hasn't sprouted.

============================

From: Jill McQuown <jmcquown[at]bellsouth.net>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 05:15:50 -0600
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davincifan@earthlink.net wrote:
> I have to say that I think your query is ridiculous.  If there is any
> question that a food is not safe you shouldn't eat it. And this
> newsgroup, as Jill was actually indicating, is not the place to obtain
> an authoritative answer about the safety of some food. You have *one*
> potato you are wondering about.  One.  Toss it and use a potato that
> hasn't sprouted.

Indeed, sprouting is not the same thing as having turned *green* which is an
indication of not a good thing.  Sorry, I don't normally speak in
Shakespearean terms about potatoes.  Maybe I should resort to Monty Python
LOL

============================

From: Jill McQuown <jmcquown[at]bellsouth.net>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 05:10:38 -0600
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White Monkey wrote:
> Potatoes are OK while breastfeeding. Poison is not. Is this potato
> poisonous? If the answer is, "No", then I can eat it. If the answer
> is "yes" or  "Not enough to hurt someone over Xpounds weight", then I
> cannot. So the question is, "Is this potato poisonous?"
>
> By the way, the way I put it in the header (just for fun) is
> Shakespearean era English for "What is the definition of a sprouting
> potato?" not "What is made by a sprouting potato?"

You doubt my ability to comprehend Shakespearean English, "But soft, what
light through yonder window breaks?  It is the East, and Juliet is the Sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon who is already sick and pale with
grief that thou her maid are far more fair than she."

I don't know shit about breast feeding but I know Shakespeare.  If the food
is safe for you to eat it should be safe for the babe at your breast.  If
you aren't sure about it, toss it out and buy a new potato.  They aren't
expensive.

Jill <--speaking as one on a budget

============================

From: jacqui{JB} <shining_one_whMUNGE[at]ME.hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 13:05:45 +0200
--------
White Monkey wrote:
> "Everybody knows" that sprouting potatoes are poisonous.
> But what degree is "sprouting"? I have one here, a large
> blue truffle potato, from each eye of which was growing
> a 1/2 cm long cluster of sprouts. I scraped them off and
> dug out the first few mm of flesh under them, and the
> potato under there looks fine. Is this safe to cook with,
> specifically boiling and cubing it for use in a leftover-lamb-
> roast pie? Is it only safe for adult-type humans? I'm
> breastfeeding a six-month-old; does that make any
> difference, or are we talking a strictly safe potato here?

Peel off any green bits, dig out the sprouting eyes and you should be fine.
Personally, I'd give it a pass if it's getting spongy, but that's a personal
preference to do with texture, rather than a question of danger.

============================

From: White Monkey <k.m.c.ooper[at]chello.nl>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 13:42:41 +0200
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jacqui{JB} wrote:
> Peel off any green bits, dig out the sprouting eyes and you should be fine.
> Personally, I'd give it a pass if it's getting spongy, but that's a personal
> preference to do with texture, rather than a question of danger.

Thank you very much. It is firm and very much potato-like. Everywhere the
sprouts have been removed, it looks normal.

In answer to some of the others here, "if there is any question about its
safety" -- well, duh. But I don't claim to know the answer to whether or not
there IS any question about that, so I asked here where I thought people
might know. If everyone everywhere was throwing out every potato with the
faintest trace of a sprout or was getting sick, I think things would be
quite different regarding what I see for sale and in restaurants. There must
be a cut-off point beyond which the potato with signs of sprouting is
generally to be considered unsafe.

Use another one--again, duh. But at the moment I don't have one so that
means changing my dinner plans entirely and probably throwing out the lamb,
as I was planning to prepare the pie now so that when we get back from
having done what we need to outdoors, there would be time to cook it.
Instead, there will not, unless I can use this potato. Which it seems I
probably can.

They're not expensive--yeah, true. But this is the last blue one I'll be
able to get until the farmer's market next week, and it would be nice to use
it as they are very, very good. Just buying another one of any sort, as I
have indicated, involves changing all my dinner plan for today, and I don't
think the lamb will be good tomorrow, and I have already thawed the puff
pastry--but should further research reveal I cannot use this potato, then,
oh well, we'll chuck the lamb and the pastry and have spaghetti or something
else quick.
--Katrina

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From: White Monkey <k.m.c.ooper[at]chello.nl>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2005 13:45:23 +0200
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Having found soem time to do some looking, I found this, in case anyone else
has a similar query.
http://adam.about.com/encyclopedia/002875.htm
As here is no trace of green and all teh sporouts and eyes have been
removed, I will deem this potato safe to eat.
--Katrina

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From: Bruce B <nospam[at]invalid.moc>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 11:49:30 GMT
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White Monkey wrote:
> In answer to some of the others here, "if there is any question about its
> safety" -- well, duh. But I don't claim to know the answer to whether or not
> there IS any question about that, 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanine

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From: kilikini <kilikini[at]NOSPAMtampabay.rr.com>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 12:24:54 GMT
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White Monkey wrote:
> Thank you very much. It is firm and very much potato-like. Everywhere
> the sprouts have been removed, it looks normal.

I always eat potatos that have sprouted.  I just peel off the eyes and if
they go into the potato, I dig them out.  I've been doing this for at least
20 years and although others from my past wish it weren't so, I'm still
here.

============================

From: Priscilla H. Ballou <vze23t8n[at]verizon.net>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 12:14:03 -0500
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White Monkey wrote:
> In answer to some of the others here, "if there is any question about its
> safety" -- well, duh. But I don't claim to know the answer to whether or not
> there IS any question about that, so I asked here where I thought people
> might know. 

There was a question because YOU ASKED IT.

Much ado about nothing, IMO.

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From: Bob (this one) <Bob[at]nospam.com>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 16:27:49 -0500
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Priscilla H. Ballou wrote:
> There was a question because YOU ASKED IT.
> 
> Much ado about nothing, IMO.

Let me not to the marriage of true potatoes admit ingredients...

Pastorio

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From: Bob <virtualgoth[at]die_spammer.biz>
Date: 1 Apr 2005 17:52:06 -0600
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Bob Pastorio wrote:
> Let me not to the marriage of true potatoes admit ingredients...

Bravo! <clap-clap>

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From: Ophelia <ophelia[at]nospam.co.uk>
Date: Sat, 02 Apr 2005 12:15:03 GMT
--------
Bob wrote:
> Bravo! <clap-clap>

LOL *more applause* 

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From: White Monkey <k.m.c.ooper[at]chello.nl>
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 09:10:36 +0200
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Priscilla H. Ballou wrote:
> There was a question because YOU ASKED IT.

Oooh, semantics! we could go on and on about the inherent subtle differences
between the constructions "any question about" and "MY question about",
but... nah!
--Katrina

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From: Melba's Jammin' <thisisbogus[at]macbogus.com>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 07:31:58 -0600
--------
White Monkey wrote:
> "Everybody knows" that sprouting potatoes are poisonous. But what 
> degree is "sprouting"? I have one here, a large blue truffle potato, 
> from each eye of which was growing a 1/2 cm long cluster of sprouts. 
> I scraped them off and dug out the first few mm of flesh under them, 
> and the potato under there looks fine. Is this safe to cook with, 
> specifically boiling and cubing it for use in a leftover-lamb-roast 
> pie? Is it only safe for adult-type humans? I'm breastfeeding a 
> six-month-old; does that make any difference, or are we talking a 
> strictly safe potato here?

It's what I always do with them, Katrina.  And always ha. .<gasp, choke, 
wheeze>

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From: ppnerkDELETETHIS[at]yahoo.com (Phred)
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 13:43:32 GMT
--------
White Monkey wrote:
>"Everybody knows" that sprouting potatoes are poisonous. But what degree is
>"sprouting"? 

G'day Katrina,

Sprouting spuds typically contain as much, and probably more, solanine 
than even green spuds.  I saw some data recently which indicated the 
effect of sprouting can be a factor of several times that of greening. 
If I can find the reference again, I'll post it. [1]

That said, it's pretty much a dose/unit weight effect, and probably a 
fair amount of individual tolerance too (just as with all drugs).

Solanine is pretty heat stable and boiling does not have much effect.  
Nor does peeling, as it's readily distributed through the tuber.

I gather the effect of sub-clinical exposure for most folk is little 
more than a touch of the squirts ("loose bowel syndrome" :) and you 
probably don't even know you've been "poisoned" -- most folk probably 
blame that extra glass of plonk with dinner. :-)

Don't know about effects in utero on bubs, or on breast milk.
(But cows' milk typically reflects diet. :-)

[1] Not the one I had in mind, but here's a quote from "Warning: 1" at 
http://www.innvista.com/health/foods/vegetables/potato.htm

<quoting FWIW>
The best way to avoid this is to throw out any green potatoes or those 
sprouting "eyes" as these also have high levels of solanine.
</quoting>

Cheers, Phred.

============================

From: Dave Smith <adavid.smith[at]sympatico.ca>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 09:14:11 -0500
--------
White Monkey wrote:
> "Everybody knows" that sprouting potatoes are poisonous. But what degree is
> "sprouting"? 

There is a small amount of toxin in all potatoes, but there tends to be much
more of it in the eyes and in the screen skin. Just avoid the eyes.

============================

From: zxcvbob <zxcvbob[at]charter.net>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 09:01:43 -0600
--------
White Monkey wrote:
> "Everybody knows" that sprouting potatoes are poisonous. But what degree is
> "sprouting"?

Sunscalded potatoes that have turned green are poisonous (the poison is 
called solanine.) The green color is actually chlorophyl, which is 
harmless, but it forms at the same time as solanine.  Cooking destroys 
about a third of the solanine.  I would not eat potato sprouts, but you 
said the sprouts are only .5 cm and you cut them off.  I don't see a 
problem unless the potato was green.  I eat slightly sprouted potatoes 
all the time with no ill effects at all, but I always peel them if they 
are sprouted.

That being said, solanine is fat-soluble, so I supposed it could be 
transmitted in breast milk, but probably not in dangerous levels.  It's 
just a potato; if you are concerned at all (and you are, otherwise you 
wouldn't have written here) throw it out, or let someone else eat it, or 
pick around the potatoes when you eat the pie.  Your gonna have to make 
your own risk assessment and decision.

I would peel it and eat it and try to find something else to worry about ;-)

Bob

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From: Katra <KatraMungBean[at]centurytel.net>
Date: Fri, 01 Apr 2005 12:30:58 -0600
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White Monkey wrote:
> "Everybody knows" that sprouting potatoes are poisonous. But what degree is
> "sprouting"?

As long as you get rid of ALL of the green coloring, I understand you 
should be ok???

============================

From: White Monkey <k.m.c.ooper[at]chello.nl>
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 09:12:45 +0200
--------
For the curious, it had no green about it, so I peeled it, cut out any trace
of eyes, boiled and cubed it, and distributed it evenly through the pie. Pie
was good, nobody having any problems here.
--Katrina


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