Are Green Potato Chips Safe to Eat?

Don't worry, green potato chips are still safe to eat.

Did you know that Frito-Lay alone sells somewhere around $2.6 billion worth of potato chips a year? There’s definitely a reason they’re considered the best potato chips in the country. And then there are our other favorite potato chips—put ’em all together, and you might be able to see why the United States eats more chips than any other country in the world. Who doesn’t love a bag of crunchy, salty chips?

However, there’s always the looming possibility of finding green potato chips in your bag. So, what’s up with that?

Why Are Some Potato Chips Green?

No doubt that everyone’s seen a green potato chip in their lifetime. I remember being in the lunchroom during middle school, finding a green chip in the bag and ostracizing it from the rest of its golden, salty family. We didn’t know what it meant as kids, and we’ve always been told to never eat a green potato chip. But why is it in there in the first place?

It has to do with chlorophyll. We’ve all heard that term before—it’s a natural compound found in plants and vegetation that gives them their strong green coloring, and it’s essential for photosynthesis. When potatoes keep their green coloring, it basically means they’ve been exposed to too much light or sun.

Here’s how to make your own potato chips to avoid any green outliers.

Are They Safe to Eat?

To get straight to the point: yes.  While there is a poisonous chemical known as solanine in chlorophyll that can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting or possible death in extreme cases, you’d need to eat a very large, very green potato to even start seeing side effects.

Soreen potato chips, while a bit off-putting, are totally safe to eat. Much like green potatoes, a few spots of green are unlikely to cause serious side effects. Eat ’em or trash ’em, it’s your choice! (Learn more about whether you can eat sprouted potatoes.)

Next up: Check out these creative potato chip recipes.

Melany Love
Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn't have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she's not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.