If you have been visiting the super market at all in the past week and noticed a shortage of produce, you may have also noticed a shortage of peppers. But still some of the green ones left. Why do people always seem to prefer yellow, orange or red peppers? What is the difference between red and green peppers?
We have the answer for you. As expected it comes down to taste and nutritional value, and that’s exactly why green peppers are the last left on the shelves. All peppers are different of course, but green in particularly has the most distinct differences from the other colors.
After some source checking, here is the quick rundown:
What Is the Difference Between Red And Green Peppers
- Green peppers are harvested earliest and contain the least vitamins.
- Red peppers are harvested later and contain more Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and beta carotene
- Red, orange, and yellow peppers have a sweeter taste than green peppers
- Green peppers taste more bitter than other peppers
- Green peppers generally cost less than other peppers to harvest
Surprisingly the nutritional value of a green pepper is significantly lower than a red pepper.
“Red peppers contain 11 times more beta-carotene (an antioxidant associated with cancer-fighting properties), eight times more vitamin A, and 1.5 times more vitamin C than green peppers. Yellow peppers have more vitamin C than green peppers, but less vitamin A and beta-carotene.” – Source
Unsurprisingly, this makes the cost of a green pepper generally lower than that of other variations of peppers.
As Thekitchn explains, maturity dictates price. It’s a simple principle but a core truth in agriculture.
It takes more time to grow a red or yellow pepper than it does a green pepper. In turn it takes more work and material for a farmer to grow a red or yellow pepper. A farmer could harvest a batch of green peppers and in turn would be able to sell them quicker and spend less time and resources than he would waiting for the peppers to ripen into orange or red. In turn, the farmer would receive less value for the green peppers as they are not fully ripened.
This also explains the difference in taste. Green peppers are more bitter because they have not been given the time to ripen. If given the time to ripen until they were orange or red, they would have a more full, sweeter taste. As opposed to the bitter taste of a green pepper.
“To get a yellow, red or orange pepper, the pepper needs to spend more time on the plant to ripen and color. The older the pepper, the greater the chance of some damage coming to the pepper,” explained Karl Foord, who teaches horticulture at the University of Minnesota Extension. “So growing colored peppers can cause a yield reduction leading to a higher price.” – Source