Poisonous potatoes? Don’t panic! Aaaaaaahhhhh!

Poisonous potatoes? Don’t panic! Aaaaaaahhhhh!

Hello potatoes lovers and citizens of the globally warmed world!

I have found a piece of useful information regarding the vegetable specimen known as solanum tuberosum’, for those of you who love taxonomy, and most commonly known as ‘potato’ for average people like me.

While revising a little about nicotinic acid, niacin and some other molecules of the sort, I came across the effects associated to high and low levels of B-three vitamin in blood and serum, and reading about the nutrients rich on elements which have a direct impact on its quantities, I ended reading about sweet potatoes, but those are not quite the right kind of common potatoes (solanum tuberosum), instead they are known to taxonomists as sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas).

However, there is a perilous thing about common potatoes, the ‘solanum tuberosum’ kind:


‘ Glycoalkaloids may cause headaches, diarrhoea, cramps, and in severe cases coma and death; however, poisoning from potatoes occurs very rarely. Light exposure causes greening from chlorophyll synthesis, thus giving a visual clue as to areas of the tuber that may have become more toxic; however, this does not provide a definitive guide, as greening and glycoalkaloid accumulation can occur independently of each other. Some varieties of potato contain greater glycoalkaloid concentrations than others; breeders developing new varieties test for this, and sometimes have to discard an otherwise promising cultivar.’ (Wikipedia)

Coma and death! Aaaahhh! I immediately searched on the subject and came across a discouraging fact for those among we Europeans who are also potatoes lovers:

‘The European Cultivated Potato Database (ECPD) is an online collaborative database of potato variety descriptions, updated and maintained by the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency within the framework of the European Cooperative Programme for Crop Genetic Resources Networks (ECP/GR)—which is run by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI).’ (Wikipedia)

European Cultivated Potato Database http://www.europotato.org/menu.php

And here is when panic starts to sweep the continent!

What will happen if Scotland decides to split apart form England and the United Kingdom (keep it simple…) is not united anymore? Will the European Cultivated Potato Database continuing supplying info for all potatoes lovers regardless of not being a part of the European Union anymore?

And ultimately in a blast of nonsense, havoc and conspiracy paranoia… has it something to do with the well known Monty Python’s Flying Circus Show

Keep it calm and protected from sunlight!


Acerca de María Cristina Alonso Cuervo

I am a teacher of English who started to write this blog in May 2014. In the column on the right I included some useful links and widgets Italian is another section of my blog which I called 'Cornice Italiana'. There are various tags and categories you can pick from. I also paint, compose, and play music, I always liked science, nature, arts, language... and other subjects which you can come across while reading my posts. Best regards.
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