Is pink lettuce actually safe to eat?

Lettuce, on its own, can add a bit of crunch to so many dishes. If you're coming up with a nice green salad for lunch, you could add lettuce leaves for extra texture and make your salad that much more satisfying. According to Greatist, there'd be no reason to feel guilt-ridden if you decide to chomp on a cup of Romaine lettuce. All you'd be consuming is about two grams of carbs with just eight calories. Pretty sweet deal, eh? You'd also get some of your vitamin fix from that bowl of lettuce, thereby boosting your immunity.

Lettuce also has vitamin B9 (aka folate) that contributes to cell division and helps produces genetic material. This is particularly important for women who are pregnant. You can include lettuce in so many ways as a regular part of your diet — think flavorful wraps, grilled lettuce with some Parmesan cheese, or spicy sandwich with mixed greens, chicken, and cheese. However, you want to ensure that the lettuce you use is fresh and not too old. Read on to know more.

Freshness is key in determining if pink lettuce is safe

The thing with lettuce is that if you keep it with you for too long, you may find that it changes color and takes on pink or rusty hues. According to Livestrong, this may or may not be cause for concern. What is a definite no-no is eating lettuce that has turned bad and has basically expired. You may be able to tell it's no good if you can smell a foul odor or it looks wilted. Basically, if it's old lettuce and you know it doesn't look like it normally should, you should get rid of it to avoid food poisoning.

Pink lettuce, though, is a different story. As Livestrong highlights, lettuce heads may change color and turn pink when they're either "overmature" or have been kept at high temperatures. Or it might simply a case of your lettuce leaves being stored too close to fruit like apples, peaches or tomatoes which may make the ripening process faster thanks to a type of gas called ethylene.

In a nutshell, you actually can consume pink lettuce but you need to make sure it's fresh. If you're not sure, please toss it away and stay safe. Better safe than sorry.