Europeans began to eat potatoes in the 16th century. This vegetable has featured in the history of the continent mostly because of crop failures and the severe famines that followed. Potatoes are an important part of the diets of many European families. But this favourite vegetable also has a dark side. Its leaves and stems contain a poison. Potato poisoning is rare, though it does happen from time to time. Most of the cases of death by potatoes in the past 50 years in the US have been caused by people eating green potatoes or drinking potato leaf tea.
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