ARE HARD POTATOES SAFE TO EAT?

In this brief article, we will answer the question if hard potatoes are safe to eat, what they are, how to produce them, and also how to prepare them. We will also answer the question of their nutritional composition, the risks involved, precautions, and the effective way to preserve them.

Are hard potatoes safe for consumption?

Hard potatoes are not safe for consumption. Hard potatoes are undercooked potatoes and they contain an element called solanine which is dangerous to humans. Solanine causes headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In excess amounts, it leads to death. 

Hard potatoes are hard to chew. They tend to leave a bitter taste in the mouth when eaten. 

What are hard potatoes?

These are undercooked potatoes. When properly cooked, these tuber vegetables are easily mashed with just a slight pressing. They mostly occur if you have underboiled them or boiled them at very low temperatures for a short time. 

What are the risks of eating hard potatoes?

They contain solanine, which causes nausea and other symptoms. If hard potatoes are consumed in very large amounts they may lead to digestive problems or even death. They are also hard to chew and are bitter. 

Since they are undercooked, they contain antinutrients that when ingested lead to inhibition of enzyme activity in the body. 

These affect digestion and also other major functions of the body. They are also nutrient deficient because they are in an unabsorbable form to the body. 

How do you produce potatoes?

Potatoes are very common tuber vegetables that can be homegrown or grown commercially on a large scale. For homegrown potatoes in limited spaces pots and sacks can be used to hold the soil. 

For a kitchen garden, a sunny spot is chosen for planting. The following steps are followed:

  • Quality potato seeds are chosen and left in a dark area to sprout.
  • The sunny spot of the garden is well tilled and minor trenches are prepared with ample spacing.
  • After the seeds have sprouted, in about two weeks, they are transferred to the trenches with their eyes pointing up. They are then covered with soil. 
  • The spot should allow for 6 weeks of sun. After 6 weeks eating up is done to enhance tuber formation. 
  • They are also observed regularly against pests and diseases. They are ready for harvesting in 12 weeks. 

Large-scale farming is also conducted the same as per the above procedure but now on a large piece of land. 

How do you prepare potatoes for consumption?

Potatoes are underground tubers. The first step in their preparation is washing off the dirt. They ate then peeled to leave white-cream tubers. They are then washed again to remove any dirt that may have been left.

After that the potatoes can either be boiled or steamed. To boil potatoes, you need clean peeled potatoes, clean water, and a pot. They are boiled for 15 minutes to make sure they are squishy and can be mashed. 

In the steaming of potatoes, the extra bit needed is a sieve on which they are placed over the boiling water. They are steamed for 30-45 minutes. 

For more recipes on preparing potatoes, see here.

What is the nutrient composition of potatoes?

Potatoes are rich in starch, which serves as an energy source in the body when consumed. They also contain fewer calories at 110 per serving. 

They lack cholesterol and sodium. They are rich in dietary fiber which promotes the growth of normal flora in the body.

How to preserve potatoes?

Raw and cooked potatoes can be preserved through refrigeration. Cooked potatoes are highly susceptible to colonization by fungi as they are one of the best components of growing fungi in the laboratory. 

Raw potatoes are not highly perishable and can last a month without refrigeration as long as their skin is intact. After a month they may start to sprout and can easily be used as seeds if they have desirable qualities. 

What is the precaution when consuming potatoes?

You need to make sure the potatoes are well cooked to avoid poisoning by solanine. If they are undercooked do not consume them, but if you do take only small amounts. If any signs and symptoms emerge consult a physician immediately. 

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the questions if hard potatoes are safe to eat, what they are, how to produce them, and also how to prepare them. We have also answered the questions about their nutritional composition, the risks involved, precautions, and the effective way to preserve them.

Citations

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-grow-and-harvest-potatoes-at-home#how-to-grow-potatoes
https://www.myrecipes.com/healthy-diet/is-it-safe-to-eat-raw-potatoes

https://therustyspoon.com/can-you-eat-potatoes-that-are-undercooked/#:~:text=No%2C%20it%20 isn%27t%20 okay,cause%20lots%20of%20digestive%20issues

https://www.purewow.com/food/how-to-tell-if-potatoes-are-bad
https://www.wikihow.com/Bake-a-Potato-in-the-Microwave
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/7-ways-potatoes

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.