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Can We Eat Potatoes That Have Softened?


By offering a variety of preparations, the potato aims to be a staple food in our diet. As a starchy food, it contains 77% water. That’s why it can tend to become soft. Can it still be consumed when it’s soft?

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Why does a potato become soft?

Most vegetables contain 80 to 90% water. The potato only has 77%. That’s why as it ages, it dehydrates, wrinkles, and loses its water, which gives it a soft appearance.

Thus, certain potatoes like the ‘Bintje’, ‘Monalisa’, ‘Désirée’, or ‘Manon’ varieties are known as storage potatoes and can be stored throughout the winter. Provided they are stored under good conditions.

Others, like early varieties, should be consumed quickly.


In addition to the fact that they keep better or worse depending on their variety, storage is also essential.

Indeed, potatoes should be stored in a completely dark, cool (but frost-free), and dry place. They can be placed in jute bags or crates in a healthy cellar. If these conditions are respected, they can be kept for several months.

However, if they are exposed to light, heat, or humidity, they become soft and lose their firmness.

This softening is often accompanied by the appearance of sprouts, a sign that it is starting to grow as if it had sensed the signals of spring!

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Can you eat soft potatoes?

It is best to avoid eating a soft and sprouted potato. Simply because by producing sprouts, it secretes a toxic substance, solanine.

This substance could cause digestive disorders, abdominal pain, and headaches.

But you would have to eat a significant amount of sprouts, around 2 kg… But who would think of preparing potatoes with sprouts?


Nevertheless, a soft potato loses its flavor. Moreover, this softening can be an initial sign of rotting. And there is a risk of bacterial development. That’s why it is preferable not to consume these soft potatoes.

What to do with soft potatoes?

To avoid having to throw away these potatoes, you can use them in several ways:

  • If you have a garden, plant them from March to late April depending on the region where you live to obtain a good harvest in late summer
  • If you have wireworms in your garden, these potatoes, cut in half, make an effective trap when buried. They rush to eat them. Just dig up the potatoes in the morning and evening
  • A raw potato slice absorbs fridge odors. Just place them in a dish
  • You can also use them as a propagation support if they are not too wrinkled.
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