Potatoes are one of the most commonly used vegetables in the world. They are incorporated in many delicious dishes and widely used for their medicinal properties.
However, sometimes potatoes can be harmful, even lethal. This is usually the case when they are kept for too long. So, if you have a bunch of potatoes sitting in your pantry or kitchen for some time, consider getting rid of them. Keep reading to find out why.
A couple of years ago, Masha Chelysheva, an 8-year-old girl from Russia, lost both her parents. The reason was a pile of rotten potatoes they’d left in the cellar and forgotten about.
The first ‘victim’ was her dad, who went to fetch some potatoes and died. He was followed by her mom, her brother, and her grandma. The last one to suffer was the neighbor who just came in to check what was happening in their home.
So, how did potatoes manage to kill five people?
Potatoes contain glycoalkaloid, a substance which makes them toxic under specific conditions. The levels of glycoalkaloid rise significantly when potatoes rot, and even more when they are left in rooms with little or no ventilation. Such circumstances allowed for a high concentration of toxic gas. This substance is also found in many toxic nightshade plants and can be deadly both when consumed and when inhaled.
The only reason Masha was spared was because her mom had left the cellar door open, which allowed part of the toxic gas to exit the room.
The unfortunate story of this family should serve as a serious warning. Whenever you see potatoes that are almost spoiled, be sure to throw them in the garbage at once!