Monday, July 6, 2015

On The Evilness Of Potatoes

Potatoes are dangerous! They belong to the evil Nightshade family and are related to such notorious plants as tobacco which is responsible for lung cancer and belladonna which is poisonous. Tomatoes are part of the family, too, as well as peppers and eggplant.

Seriously though, all Nightshades contain alkaloids (in case of potatoes solanine) which aren't exactly beneficial for you, though some may disagree. As a result, there has been a lot of speculations going on whether we should really stop eating potatoes and tomatoes. Especially potatoes are linked to arthritis and autoimmune diseases in general.

Others point out that the dangers of eating potatoes are likely exaggerated and many Nightshade plants are perfectly harmless and even provide various health benefits. This article, for instance, points out that tomatoes are more of a wonder food than health hazard since they contain lycopene, an antioxidant which can potentially prevent various forms of cancer. 

Myself, I'm not convinced that potatoes, tomatoes and paprika are what brings so many people to an early grave, however, certain precautions may be not out of place, as of not eating green tomatoes and unpeeled potatoes. You can also try and substitute regular potatoes with sweet ones, which belong to the world healthiest foods.

Pity they are so expensive over here!


  1. Housewife from FinlandJuly 7, 2015 at 5:27 AM

    I have understood that as long as potatoes are not green or germinated, the potatoes "flesh" does not contain solanine. And of course you shouldn't eat them raw. I have read that some raw foodists died in New Zealand after eating great amounts of raw beetroot. It is not nightshade, but it should not be eaten raw. Or that is what finnish food safety authority Evira suggests.

    And some veggies can be goitrogens (=slow thyroid) if eaten faw, but are often ok when cooked.

  2. Yeah, I read on a Dutch site that if a man eats 1.5kg raw unpeeled potatoes, he can die. You must be really a certain kind of person to try and do it, the same type which eats ants and tries to make ice cream out of moss, I guess. Never heard of goitrogens, what sorts of vegetables are these?

    Funny I read in the Middle Ages people didn't eat anything raw as they were convinced it was unhealthy. Nowadays, the trend is reverse!

  3. Housewife from Finland: This is the first I've ever heard of any danger of eating raw beet root. I can see that it can be over done. Anything can. Sanne, I think "goitrogens" must mean that some veggies can lay the foundation for developing a goiter - which has something to do with the thyroid.
    Thank you for this informative article. You always do such good research. I love potatoes!!! Something I have to give up I know, though. I am beginning to get arthritis. Hmm, maybe potatoes have something to do with it.

  4. Well, we don't know how much beetroot they are, do we? If it was several kilos...You could probably die if you ate as much of it cooked, too!

    You are welcome, Sharon, I'm just interested in all sorts of things. I'd say everything in moderation, otherwise we may run out of the stuff to eat!

  5. Housewife from FinlandJuly 7, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    About goitrogens:

    A friend of mine had hypothyroidism and she had to avoid certain foods like rapeseed oil.

    I recall that those people who died after eating beetroot made smoothie or juice and therefore managed to "overeat" it, but I cannot find that article anymore. Cooked beetroot is very healthy. People have been eating raw grated beetroot here for ages, though. But usually rather small amounts, I assume, since the taste is rather strong.

  6. Thanks for the link! I see that the list includes broccoli and cabbage. Is there anything safe to eat any more?:)