Why Do Some Potato Chips Have Green Edges and Are They Safe To Eat?

Those chips were sliced from green-surfaced potatoes, and they therefore contain small amounts of toxic solanine, which is not destroyed by frying.

It’s okay to eat them, because in order to experience any ill effects you’d have to eat so many bags of chips that you’d turn greener around the gills than they are around the frills.

Oh, and if you think you can check out the potato chips in the store to see how many green-edged ones there might be in a package before buying it, think again.

Have you ever noticed that potato chip bags are always opaque, unlike the bags of pretzels and other snacks that often let you see the contents? That’s not to foil prying eyes, but to keep out ultraviolet light, which speeds up oxidation of the fat in the chips, turning it rancid. All fats and cooking oils, in fact, should be kept out of strong light.

Bags of potato chips are also usually filled with nitrogen gas to displace oxygen-containing air. That’s why they are puffed out like balloons.

Of course, cynic that I am, I must point out that opaque, ballooned-out packages take up more display space and prevent us from realizing that they may be only about half full.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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