Why Are Some Potato Chips Green?

If you're someone who loves the challenge of finding a green potato chip hidden away in the bag, you likely have eaten your fair share of the unusual chip color. But if you haven't found yourself wondering about why some chips are actually green or if it's even really safe to eat them you probably should take a minute to find out. The reason behind the surprising hue could actually affect which potatoes you choose to cook, or even how you cook the spuds in your own kitchen.

According to Mental Floss, potatoes that have been exposed to (too much) light in storage often turn green. That means when potato chips turn out green, it's because they were made from one of these light-exposed potatoes. But just because some green potato chips make it into the bag doesn't mean you should eat a lot of them. As it turns out, the green areas on potatoes and on chips are not good for you.

Why you shouldn't eat too many green potato chips

While it is perfectly safe to eat one or two green potato chips, eating too much of a green potato, be it as chips or another form, can be really bad for you. Those green spots are actually places where solanine, a neurotoxin, has formed, according to Medical News Today. That means anyone who ingests too much of the toxin runs the risk of becoming nauseous or experiencing headaches.

Potatoes or potato chips that have more than 0.1% of solanine are not safe for consumption. This said, there's actually a very small risk of developing solanine poisoning because you would have to eat many pounds worth of solanine-laced potatoes to reach that level of toxicity.

So when you find green potato chips somewhere in your bag, just know that it was simply made from a potato that had a bit of too much light shed on it. A green potato chip is totally okay to eat, just don't sit down with an entire bag of them should you ever find that many.