2

votes

Spots on yam safe to eat? (picture below)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 05, 2012 at 5:00 PM

What the heck!

I spent premium dollars at Whole Foods to buy an organic yam (or sweet potato, not sure which).

Based on my previous post about anti-predation chemicals in the skins of veggies, I peeled my potato.

I see these dark black spots, some going surprisingly far into the flesh of the potato.

So, if I'm concerned about toxins/mold, is it best to toss this in the trash?

(Maybe I should feed it to someone who isn't as fussy as me)???

Thanks, Mike

alt text

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on March 28, 2013
at 06:17 PM

great link, thanks for the rot photos!

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 06, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Well, you won't have runners if its a "non propagating hybrid" -- those don't make runners, because they're not meant to spread. Whether or not they have runners also depends on when in their life-cycle they're picked. If a sweet-potato is picked shortly after it forms, and before it's had a chance to start to grow on its own, it won't have runners. Organics tend not to be "non propagating", so more of them will have signs of new sprouting areas (those black spots).

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 06, 2012
at 04:17 AM

@firestorm: BTW,I bought a non-organic one from the supermarket. I can't wait to see if it has those "runners". Based on the "alive" comment, should I be concerned if it doesn't have "runners"? How common is it to have runners (organic vs. regular)? Thanks, B

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 06, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Oh, and informationally -- sometimes you'll find a sweet potato that has the end chopped off and a little bit of white stuff on the end -- that's not bad stuff either. Just chop away the dehydrated end, and peel the rest of the sweet potato, and it will be just fine. (That white stuff is called "mother", and it's the potato's way of healing itself -- a combination of sap and healthy surface bacteria that combine to seal off the leaking sap and keep the root healthy until it can heal over the damaged area).

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 06, 2012
at 01:21 AM

Oh, and informationally -- sometimes you'll find a sweet potato that has the end chopped off and a little bit of white stuff on the end -- that's not bad stuff either. Just chop away the dehydrated end, and peel the rest of the sweet potato, and it will be just fine. (That white stuff is called "mother", and it's the potato's way of healing itself -- a combination of fat and healthy surface bacteria that combine to seal off the leaking sap and keep the root healthy until it can heal over the damaged area).

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 06, 2012
at 01:19 AM

You're right... I'm overjoyed that people ARE asking questions... and taking chances eating real food instead of pre-packaged, sterile stuff! Thanks for the perspective-refresher! I needed that!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:50 PM

In fact, smile and be happy that people are beginning to ask real questions about real food :-)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:44 PM

Too late. I chopped it into a million pieces and then tossed it. I only bought one so not a big deal.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:42 PM

Don't be sad, I'm just a city slicker starting my paleo journey

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:36 PM

Hmmm....so thats what it actually is....runners? Good to know.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:34 PM

Dig em out? You see that cut up picture. The guys gonna be there all day and get left with like 1/4 of a tator for his efforts.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:33 PM

I'd eat some more meat and veggies and ditch that particular spud.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:33 PM

looks like crap to me....I don't like potato enough to risk it on that sorta crud.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 05, 2012
at 10:36 PM

If your sweet potato doesn't have rootlets, then it wasn't ALIVE. Sweet potatoes ARE a root, and it's normal and healthy for them to have the ability to send out 'runners' -- it means they could actually GROW, and that is a GOOD thing for heaven's sake.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I wonder if non-organic ones would have that?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 07:44 PM

For $1.99/lb , I don't want black things with "roots" growing in my dinner! I think I'll give Wegmans a try!

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on May 05, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Hmmm...I don't know if I'd trust it, looks sinister. Remember that scene in Alien after John hurts character is eating, and then BLAMO... I'm kidding...kidding! I've seen this before and have eaten them lots of times, you'll be fine *shifty eyed* Truth.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on May 05, 2012
at 06:22 PM

It's not mold. That potato looks pretty clean and yummy. I'm not sure what exactly it is but it's probably relatively harmless.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 05, 2012
at 06:17 PM

First guess is correct: that is a sweet potato. A yam is very different.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 05:22 PM

what the heck is it? Mold? Fungi?

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8 Answers

8
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 05, 2012
at 10:35 PM

Those spots are NOT mold or disease. They're points at which the potato sends out "runners" when it's growing. You can dig them out with the tip of your paring knife (only because they're a little fibrous), or you can go ahead and cook them... in either case, you'll be just fine.

I think it's challenging and sad that so many people have no idea what "Normal" looks like when they're buying real food. I go through this with my daughter all the time... "Mom, is it supposed to be GREEN?" "Mom, it has .... speckles..." "Mom, how come it's STIFF?" "Mom, is it supposed to SMELL like that? The stuff in the packages doesn't smell like that..." Every day, I am grateful that I grew up in farm country, because now that I -need- to be able to cook with real food, I'm not so overwhelmed by the massive variety and peculiarities of something that comes directly from its source.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 06, 2012
at 04:17 AM

@firestorm: BTW,I bought a non-organic one from the supermarket. I can't wait to see if it has those "runners". Based on the "alive" comment, should I be concerned if it doesn't have "runners"? How common is it to have runners (organic vs. regular)? Thanks, B

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:50 PM

In fact, smile and be happy that people are beginning to ask real questions about real food :-)

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:42 PM

Don't be sad, I'm just a city slicker starting my paleo journey

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 06, 2012
at 09:06 PM

Well, you won't have runners if its a "non propagating hybrid" -- those don't make runners, because they're not meant to spread. Whether or not they have runners also depends on when in their life-cycle they're picked. If a sweet-potato is picked shortly after it forms, and before it's had a chance to start to grow on its own, it won't have runners. Organics tend not to be "non propagating", so more of them will have signs of new sprouting areas (those black spots).

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:36 PM

Hmmm....so thats what it actually is....runners? Good to know.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 06, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Oh, and informationally -- sometimes you'll find a sweet potato that has the end chopped off and a little bit of white stuff on the end -- that's not bad stuff either. Just chop away the dehydrated end, and peel the rest of the sweet potato, and it will be just fine. (That white stuff is called "mother", and it's the potato's way of healing itself -- a combination of sap and healthy surface bacteria that combine to seal off the leaking sap and keep the root healthy until it can heal over the damaged area).

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 06, 2012
at 01:21 AM

Oh, and informationally -- sometimes you'll find a sweet potato that has the end chopped off and a little bit of white stuff on the end -- that's not bad stuff either. Just chop away the dehydrated end, and peel the rest of the sweet potato, and it will be just fine. (That white stuff is called "mother", and it's the potato's way of healing itself -- a combination of fat and healthy surface bacteria that combine to seal off the leaking sap and keep the root healthy until it can heal over the damaged area).

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 06, 2012
at 01:19 AM

You're right... I'm overjoyed that people ARE asking questions... and taking chances eating real food instead of pre-packaged, sterile stuff! Thanks for the perspective-refresher! I needed that!

2
C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on May 05, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Dig the spots out with the end of your peeler or a knife and dispose. If you're cooking your sweet potato you'll be fine. Probably fine even if you weren't planning to cook it. Spots are very normal in my experience unless you are growing your own at home and can treat them with the utmost delicacy.

2
D8c04730b5d016a839b3c5b932bf59dd

on May 05, 2012
at 05:49 PM

Those spots don't look like rot to me. I think it's a side effect of how potatoes grow. (that is so very not scientific opinion, but as a grandchild of farmers, and a girl who eats a lot of sweet potatoes) Your photo looks like potato 'eyes' to me.

For more info on mold and rot in sweet potatoes than anyone wants to know: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0917/

but none of those rot pictures look to me like the spots on your photo here.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on March 28, 2013
at 06:17 PM

great link, thanks for the rot photos!

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 05, 2012
at 06:52 PM

That is indeed a sweet potato.

The spots in the picture do not look like mold to me. I would just dig them out, and not worry about it too much. Mold inside a sweet potato will generally be very obvious.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:34 PM

Dig em out? You see that cut up picture. The guys gonna be there all day and get left with like 1/4 of a tator for his efforts.

1
Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on May 05, 2012
at 05:06 PM

Yeah, eat it up.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:33 PM

looks like crap to me....I don't like potato enough to risk it on that sorta crud.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:33 PM

I'd eat some more meat and veggies and ditch that particular spud.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 05:22 PM

what the heck is it? Mold? Fungi?

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on May 05, 2012
at 06:22 PM

It's not mold. That potato looks pretty clean and yummy. I'm not sure what exactly it is but it's probably relatively harmless.

0
C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on May 06, 2012
at 03:31 PM

They should all have runner/roots whether they're organic or not. It's a part of their lifecycle. Like Firestorn said, you don't want 'dead' sweet potatoes.

Some interesting sites I discovered recently when trying to learn how to grow my own are 1) https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/growing-sweet-potatoes-zm0z11zsto.aspx, and http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-plant-and-grow-sweet-potatoes/index.html. This might give you the bigger picture on sweet

0
7250fd9a9a0a2f879516aa7d1156374b

(40)

on May 05, 2012
at 07:55 PM

Maybe take them back?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 11:44 PM

Too late. I chopped it into a million pieces and then tossed it. I only bought one so not a big deal.

0
27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on May 05, 2012
at 06:58 PM

I buy garnet yams from Whole Foods all the time at $1.99/lb instead of from Wegmans at $0.79/lb because they taste so much better. And yes, mine have those little black things extending into the potato as well.

I just slide a long, thin, sharp knife under the skin after cooking, pull it up, and basically peel the entire cooked skin off at once. The little "roots" come up with the skin. I toss the skin and black lumps, and eat the inside.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I wonder if non-organic ones would have that?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on May 05, 2012
at 07:44 PM

For $1.99/lb , I don't want black things with "roots" growing in my dinner! I think I'll give Wegmans a try!

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on May 05, 2012
at 10:36 PM

If your sweet potato doesn't have rootlets, then it wasn't ALIVE. Sweet potatoes ARE a root, and it's normal and healthy for them to have the ability to send out 'runners' -- it means they could actually GROW, and that is a GOOD thing for heaven's sake.

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