Tasty Tubers or Poisonous Produce?

When it comes to starchy and tasty tubers, Idahoans know their way around a potato, y'all. From potato ice cream to the giant 17-foot-long spud we drop to ring in the New Year, potatoes are enshrined and glorified in Gem State culture. It's for these reasons and more we were shocked to find out our favorite botanical veggie has the power to poison us.

When Potatoes Kill

According to Mount Sinai, solanum tuberosum poisoning, also known as potato plant poisoning, "occurs when someone eats the green tubers or new sprouts of the potato plant." While solanine, the poisonous agent in potatoes, occurs throughout the plant, it's especially toxic in green potatoes and baby sprouts.

Potatoes contain two kinds of glycoalkaloids, both natural toxins, called solanine and chaconine, and while the whole potato contains these glycoalkaloids, the concentration is highest in the eyes, green skin and sprouts that form.

Poison Control


Self-Sufficient Me // YouTube
Self-Sufficient Me // YouTube


Flabbergasted? Confounded? Imagine how we felt! Each of our potato-obsessed teammates writes 10-to-14 articles about the Gem State every week. The volume of potato-oriented articles we've written practically makes us honorary Simplots!

As you'll see from the nine symptoms below, the effects of potato plant poisoning can be quite serious. While they're primarily gastrointestinal, the central nervous system can be severely effected after a large or concentrated ingestion of solanine. Also alarming is how long it can take to know you've been poisoned. Mount Sainai states symptoms can take as long as eight-to-10 hours to manifest!

Potato poisoning is a thing...who knew?! Check out the symptoms.

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