My Beetroot Is White Inside: Is It Safe To Eat?

Have you ever encountered a white beetroot and stared at it in surprise because it’s in a package of red ones? Have you found white blotches inside a red beetroot? Both of these things can be a little baffling.

Some varieties of beetroot are white, while others have white inside them, striped with red like a candy cane. In some cases, beetroot will grow white blotches inside instead of forming fully red flesh, and this is usually due to poor growing conditions and watering stress. Most white flesh is safe to eat.

We’re going to explore how different varieties of beetroot vary, and why white flesh might occasionally form inside a beetroot that should be completely red. This will help you figure out whether you can eat the beetroot or not.

Why Do Some Beetroots Have White Flesh?

beetroot

There are a few different reasons that beetroots might have white flesh, and what form the flesh takes will help you to figure out why it is there and whether it’s okay to eat. White flesh may be due to:

  • The type of beetroot you have bought: some cultivars naturally produce white flesh or red and white flesh, and these should be fine to eat as they are supposed to be white
  • A mutation: occasionally, a beetroot will appear white even when the others are red due to a chance mutation in the genes. These will generally still be okay to eat, but don’t consume them if they taste strange
  • Poor growing conditions: over-watering, under-watering, or poor soil can prevent the beetroot from developing properly, and this may lead to splotches of white in the vegetable. These areas of white may not taste very nice, but they shouldn’t be harmful

In most cases, white beetroots are white because they have been bred that way, and it’s not a sign of any issue. You may get wholly white beetroots or beetroots with stripes of white running through the red flesh. Both of these should be fine to eat.

 As long as the white appears in an even pattern as part of the beetroot’s normal growth, it’s likely to be a deliberate aspect of cultivation and not a sign of stress or mutation.

What If All The Other Beetroots In The Package Are Red?

If the beetroot is the only white one in a package of red ones, this is likely to be a genetic mutation. It is very unusual to have this happen, but it does occur occasionally. This tends to happen when a gene in the beetroot reverts to its previous form, and although it is rare, it is certainly not unheard of.

You are more likely to see this if you are growing the beetroot yourselves, as most commercial outlets will remove any odd-looking beetroots before they get to the supermarket, which makes it even more unlikely that you will see a white beetroot in one.

If you are growing your own beetroot, you might think that you have accidentally planted a mismatched seed when you find a white one – but this isn’t necessarily the case. It just means that the beetroot has mutated and changed its appearance slightly. If you then planted the seeds from the white plant, its babies might come up either white or red, depending on how strong the mutation is.

If this has happened, the white beetroot should still be fine to eat, but you might find that it doesn’t taste quite the same as the others. White beetroots are also less healthy than red ones, because they lack some of the phytonutrients that red beetroots have. The color of red beetroots is produced by something known as lycopene, which contains a lot of the nutrients.

What If The Beetroot Is Patchy?

If the beetroot is white and patchy inside, it is likely to be because the growing conditions have been less than ideal. If you have not watered the beetroots properly or if they are growing in very poor soil, they are much more likely to produce white areas in the flesh, rather than developing fully red as they should do.

This is because the plant is stressed, and not putting the right level of energy or nutrients into its growth.

For anyone who wants to grow beetroots at home, it’s important to know what conditions these vegetables enjoy and how to look after them. They are generally hardy and easy plants, but they still do need the right setup if they are to form properly and be as nutrient-rich as they should be.

You can eat beetroot that has grown with white patches, but be aware that it may be lacking in both taste and vitamins. If the plant didn’t have its needs met while growing, it’s not likely to have produced flavorful, healthy fruits as a result.

Why Do Some Beetroots Naturally Have White?

Some growers deliberately select beetroots that are white or partially white, and this is because they tend to have a better flavor. Although they are less healthy, the white parts may be sweeter than the red, and indeed, white beetroots are used to make beet sugar.

This has caused a rise in the popularity of white beetroots, or partially white beetroots. By selecting the striped varieties, many growers have managed to balance the health benefits with the sweetness and milder flavor. These beetroots also look particularly pretty and can be used to decorate salads, which is another reason that they are so popular.

Over the years, quite a few beetroot varieties have been bred to include white inside them, for the aesthetics and the flavor. If you’re growing your own beetroots, make sure you check whether your seeds will produce partially white beetroots before you purchase them.

Conclusion

Beetroots can sometimes have white stripes inside, depending on the variety, and these are perfectly safe to eat. More rarely, beetroots will form white patches due to poor growing conditions. These should also be safe, but they may not taste as nice and will be lacking in nutrients.

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for over five years! I've set up this blog because I'm passionate about veganism and living a more spiritually fulfilling life where I'm more in tune with nature. Hopefully, I can use Vegan Foundry as a channel to help you out on your own journey!