She became an orphan at only 8-years-old because of a batch of old potatoes. Her name is Maria Chelysheva from Russia and the incident occurred in 2014. Her dad went to get some potatoes from the basement. He never came back and when the mother went to investigate, she didn’t come back either. The potatoes were old and rotted, and it turned out, very dangerous.
Then it was Maria’s brother, then her grandmother. They all went to the basement and didn’t return. All but little Maria survived.
Potatoes contain glycoalkaloids which is a chemical compound, also found in poisonous nightshade plants. Under certain circumstances it makes them naturally toxic. They don’t have to be eaten either, simply from breathing in the toxic chemicals one can suffer tragically from the effects.
The more they rot, as they did in this situation, the potatoes’ glycoalkaloids concentration will go up. This causes the dangerous and toxic gas to be emitted. And it’s exposure to this that can kill. Such was the case with Maria’s family who all went down the basement where potatoes were left to rot, and they all breathed in the deadly fumes.
Naturally Maria began to wonder where her family was, so she too ended up investigating on her own. But by then the gases had dissipated as her mom had left the door open after she had gone down there. Maria was spared from the deadly fumes.
Very heartbreaking situation. Their story will hopefully spread awareness, and will help to save many other families from the same fate. Rotten potatoes are a deadly danger, and it’s a real eye-opener seeing as you would never think a vegetable could cause such horror.
Always get rid of your old potatoes. Be sure to share this important information with all of your friends and family!