Bell peppers, also called sweet peppers, are one of the most popular vegetables in America, and one of the most readily available. According to the USDA, every day almost 25% of Americans will eat a pepper or a dish that contains bell peppers — almost as many people as will consume a tomato, and double the number of those who will eat French fries!
Sweet peppers are plump, bell-shaped vegetables featuring either three or four lobes. They usually range in size from 2 to 5 inches in diameter and 2 to 6 inches in length. The most common varieties have thick flesh, with an inner cavity containing bitter seeds and a spongy white core. Unlike chili peppers, bell peppers aren’t “hot”; they contain a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin, the compound responsible for the culinary heat found in other peppers.
All bell peppers start out green, but as they mature they turn yellow, orange or red, depending on the variety. This variation in skin color is more than just visual appeal — as peppers ripen, their sugar content increases. Red and orange peppers are pleasantly sweet, with an almost fruity flavor. Yellow peppers are mildly sweet and have a slight tannic or peppery flavor. The common green bell pepper has bitter overtones, because it’s picked fully developed but not ripe. Purple and chocolate peppers are also part of the rainbow array now available. Both of these varieties are also harvested immature (before they turn green), so they lack the sweetness of a mature pepper.
Why choose organic bell peppers?
How to select and store bell peppers
Tips for using bell peppers
Crunchy green vitamins
Green Earthbound Farm Organic Bell Peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of vitamins B6 and K. It’s hard to find another vegetable with more vitamin C than bell peppers. This vitamin promotes wound healing, supports the immune system, aids in skin health, and also acts as an antioxidant. As part of a healthy diet, vitamin C’s antioxidant properties may play a role in reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases.
To maximize your nutrient intake, try pairing green bell peppers with produce that contains iron, like spinach, as vitamin C helps the body absorb plant-based iron.
Why choose organic bell peppers?
Sweet bell peppers are #7 on the Environmental Working Group's "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce," a list of produce that carries the most pesticide residues when grown conventionally — so choosing organic bell peppers makes sense. You can lower your dietary exposure to pesticides substantially by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, and choosing organic for those items instead.
An added bonus: organic peppers aren’t waxed, while many conventionally grown bell peppers are coated with a petroleum-based fungicide wax to prolong their shelf life.
At Earthbound Farm, we grow our organic bell peppers using sustainable methods that build rich soil, support vibrant field ecosystems, and keep potentially hazardous chemicals out of our environment and our food supply. We believe organic is the healthiest choice for people and the planet, and we think organic tastes better, too!
WhatsOnMyFood.org from the Pesticide Action Network shows you searchable results for vegetables like sweet bell peppers and a wide range of other organic and conventional foods. It’s an easy-to-use and empowering tool for learning about pesticide residues and their health effects for all of us.
Raw or cooked, fresh green or red bell peppers are delicious in many kinds of recipes, and they’re an excellent source of vitamins A and C.