Colorful peppers are a good thing; they're full of nutrients and low in calories, in addition to being tasty. The hothouse peppers available in the supermarket from the Netherlands, Canada, and Mexico are tasty, but bear a burden of energy costs, food miles, etc. Balancing nutrition and one's ecological footprint isn't always easy.
In our warm summer climate, we can grow lots of nice peppers, spicy anchos and poblanos, as well as mild Italian roasting peppers, pimentos, and 'pizza' peppers. What we (at least I) can't grow well is large, juicy 'bell' peppers, whether green, red, orange, or yellow.
This time of year, my home-grown frozen peppers add a nice kick to sauces and stir-fries, but they're pretty meager compared to what's available in the market. These seem to be a product of pampered greenhouses, kept at optimal temperatures, with abundant moisture and nutrients through the growing season.
So I was interested to see frozen organic pepper slices for sale at a modest cost in one of our local supermarkets.
They're nothing but peppers, unlike one of my favorite frozen vegetables 'Pepper Stir-Fry' from Birdseye,, which includes onions, too (cheaper, of course).
OK, these are village-grown, organic, all peppers, about $2.25 US dollars (roughly equivalent to the Birdseye product on sale). So what's the story?
They're grown in a Chinese organic vegetable village (certified). Hmm.
We visited a very interesting organic vegetable village in Southern Vietnam last winter -- a remarkable place. Maybe this village is similar? Who knows?
But, perhaps the trade-off isn't so difficult after all. Supporting organic vegetables grown in China certainly can't hurt, but I'm thinking why can't I buy nice frozen peppers grown closer to home?