How To Feed Your Gut and Have Fun With The Kids Too

A couple of the most frequently asked question over the last year and some months, over 100 posts and thousands of comments on Resistant Starch, have been:

  1. How do I know if what I bought is truly potato starch (raw) and not potato flour (cooked)?
  2. Why not just eat real food instead of something processed like Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch?

Here’s a short video to answer both questions; and what’s more is that you can easily duplicate this and have some fun with the kids or, if in a teaching position, demonstrate the curious nature of non-Newtonian fluids to your science class. Prepare to be a bit amazed at its various properties.

How To Make Magic Mud—From a Potato!

Yep, you guessed it. You could skip the steps of extracting starch from potatoes and just use Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch, but then you’d be missing out on all the fun.

So, the answer to question 1, above, ought to be obvious enough. Whatever you buy in terms of potato starch should behave like that when mixed with tonic (not sure if other fluids work the same, nor what effect the sugars may have—but I’m sure the kids will be willing to experiment). Question 2 is a bit more nuanced. First, as you can see, it’s not some frankenconcoction, but merely a fraction of a plain ole’ potato and zero more. The other aspect is that Tim and I have learned over months of collaboration, unless you’re out in the wild, including tree bark, pollen, and a bunch of other plants in your diet, it’s tough to get sufficient RS (and even other fermentable fibers). Potato starch is merely a cheap and convenient way to close the gap.

Want some more fun? Stir up a heaping teaspoon of potato starch in a cup of water and pop it in the microwave on high for a minute.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Evolutionarily on June 25, 2014 at 11:45

    How do you know Potato Flour doesn’t behave the same way also?

    • Richard Nikoley on June 25, 2014 at 12:49

      Because I’ve tested it. It floats. It’s not just the starch, it’s the entire potato cooked, dehydrated, powdered.

      Plus, I’ve only mentioned this a million times.

    • Adrian on June 25, 2014 at 19:38

      Might be a good idea to set up an actual article that responds to the search (on your site) of “how do you tell the difference between potato starch and potato flour?”
      or words to that effect. At the moment nothing comes up. On the other hand I always get a chuckle when you write things like – Plus, I’ve only mentioned this a million times.

  2. WW on June 25, 2014 at 11:23

    So I always wondered, are these processed/manufactured (franken-experiment) foods likely to have higher amounts of resistant starch because they are effectively cooked-then-cooled? Granted, they may have other issues…

    Rice noodles
    Puffed-rice (rice krispies / treats)
    Potato chips (baked lays)
    Any gluten-free flours baked into something then cooled

    • Ripken Holt on June 25, 2014 at 12:05

      I’ve been wondering this as well. I would say probably not for most of them because they aren’t really cooled (I think). Ex: Rice Krispies aren’t refrigerated as far as I know, they’re room temperature.

  3. HPSAUCE on June 25, 2014 at 16:14

    Now that’s something I will do with my grandchildren in July. Okay, so I’m doing the PS daily and properly soaked and cooked beans as well as some cold potatoes…..past the nasty smelling gas, but have been experiencing mid afternoon belly aches and bloating. I’m using Primal Defense and taking some digestive enzymes as well. Is there proper timing for taking PS and Primal Defense?

    • Ellen Ussery on June 26, 2014 at 06:36

      I would suggest trying the other probiotics as well.
      Prescript Assist, AOR 3 and consume a variety of probiotic food an drink

      Take the probiotic caps 30 min before eating or sprinkle on food

  4. Goodstuff on June 26, 2014 at 03:38

    Kids love farting competitions. Load them up on RS and let the games begin!

    • tatertot on June 26, 2014 at 10:44

      The other day my wife and I were at the local Summer Solstice street fair. We walked across a bridge and down by the river. There were a group of vegabonds smoking doG-knows-what and drinking from a paper sack. As we walked past, a particularly scruffy fellow walks up behind us and started following closely.

      BRAAA-AA-AA-P went my PS powered machine gun.

      The bum let’s out a howl, and says, “Thanks for sharing!” crosses the street and walks back to his gang.

      Wife says: I can’t believe you just did that.

      Who says chivalry is dead?

    • Richard Nikoley on June 26, 2014 at 10:51

      That’s funny. After maybe two months, I had a day of fartage, yesterday, out of the blue.

      Perhaps we can rename these incidents our “period.” What do you think, Tim? 🙂

    • Goodstuff on June 27, 2014 at 03:49

      Just don’t put one of those scratch and sniff sections in your book!

  5. Eric on June 26, 2014 at 11:31

    Alright, let me put a theory out here. I’m one of the people who have had PS and probiotics make my autoimmune symptoms worse, in my case psoriasis. The difference is noticeable immediately. I’ve also felt like straight dog shit after taking some SBOs.

    Are we thinking that in people with autoimmunity, the intestinal lining needs to heal up before this stuff will be effective? If that’s the case lets hear some more about it. Richard, I remember one of your co-conspirators writing something about purple potatoes to heal the gut lining — am I remembering correctly? What other suggestions do you guys have as far as repairing damaged guy lining?

    • Richard Nikoley on June 26, 2014 at 12:08

      Don’t recall anything about purple potatoes but in general, perhaps too concentrated at first with PS and SBOs.

      Maybe try the regime of doing lots of cooked and cooled Rice, Beans, Potatoes for a month, then try again.

  6. shtove on June 26, 2014 at 14:31

    Mythbusters did this with cornstarch and water. No quinine, so no glow – but blue dye to pretend walking on water. Non-Newtonian liquid.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 26, 2014 at 15:00

      Yep, saw that bit.

      I’m a MB regular. Every episode recorded on DVR.

  7. Sally Oh on June 28, 2014 at 12:33

    Hopefully this is not the dumbest question ever from an OCD smoothie maker…

    My smoothie is psyllium husk, PS and Amazing Grass. I’d like to add DE (food grade diatomaceous earth) and take my vitamins at the same time.

    As I understand it, the smoothie is made to exit right on down to the large intestine to ferment, doing it’s pre-biotic thing. Will this negate the effects of vitamins and DE?

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