Why Do Sweet Potatoes Leak White Stuff?

The sweet potato is a very versatile food. It can be mashed or baked like an ordinary white potato. Throw some into the air fryer and boom, you've got some homemade sweet potato fries. Add some brown sugar, and you've got yourself the candied variety. You can even freeze them! However you like to eat your sweet potato, this tasty orange root vegetable is more than just a Thanksgiving dinner crowd-pleaser. It is a family favorite, a staple, and, sometimes, the star of the meal. 

This humble ground dweller is also packed with wholesome healthiness. Sweet potatoes have been shown to reduce insulin sensitivity in people with type-2 diabetes (via Medical News Today). They're also high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is known to reduce the risk of certain cancers. These orange root veggies also contain anti-inflammatory properties and blood pressure-lowering potassium. On top of all that, sweet potatoes also contain high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber. Not only are they tasty, but they are a wise choice health-wise. This leaves sweet potato fans with just two big questions. Why the heck do they ooze white stuff? And is this milky goop edible?   

The white ooze is perfectly harmless

As pretty as a sweet potato may be in its brightest orange splendor, they have been known to leak a visually unappealing white substance. But apparently, this is perfectly normal. In fact, some food experts purport that this "ooze" is a sign of a fresh and tasty specimen. According to Food Guys, some people believe that the more a sweet potato leaks, the sweeter it will be, as the ooze is simply sugars leaking out. Others contend that the more liquid the sweet potato has, the fresher it will be. Sweeter and fresher are both good qualities in a sweet potato, so we obviously need not be afraid of the white ooze. But, still, what exactly is it? 

First For Women explains that this milky white goop is actually a form of sap made up of starch and water. When you slice into a sweet potato, it comes out of the vegetable's cells and begins to ooze. This is all to be expected and shouldn't deter you from your sweet potatoes at all. So, the next time this orange root vegetable springs a white oozy leak, give it a lick. It won't hurt you.