Yesterday, the peppers got bumped by hugely good news for humans. (Seriously: a game-changer, in case you missed it.)

And that was after bumping them Friday for this fundamentally important story: how the TV news folks are failing our democracy. (I urge you to take a look and share it widely.)

Today, the peppers will not be bumped!


I asked why red and yellow peppers cost so much more than green ones. Are they higher up in the pepper trees and thus harder to pick? Is it expensive to dye them?

Anne Vivino-Hintze: Pepper trees????? All peppers start out green. After they reach full size, some varieties turn red, some varieties turn yellow, some turn orange. As their color develops, so does their sweetness. In my home garden I grow a variety called a chocolate pepper that starts green but at maturity turns brown on the outside with red flesh on the inside. Very good, but doesn’t taste like chocolate. So the red and yellow and orange peppers have to make it to full green size unscathed and then remain on the low bush while their bright color and sweet flavor develops. All the while avoiding damage from slugs and farm equipment and large human feet.’

Jeff Groff: ‘They take longer to ripen. They’re not dyed. They actually turn red or yellow. They sit in the field or greenhouse longer than green peppers. That’s why they cost more.’

Mike Rutkaus: ‘I think the red and yellow peppers are more nutritious. They have more of the colorful anthrocyanins in them that preserve your eyesight, etc. Like blueberries and strawberries and red wine. So they are more valuable, people know this at some level, and suppliers can charge more for them.’

Peter K: ‘It costs more for ripe peppers, as it does for vine-ripened tomatoes or Spatlese wine, which is why I always skip the green peppers at the salad bar. From Wikipedia article Bell pepper: ‘Green peppers are unripe bell peppers, while the others are all ripe, with the color variation based on cultivar selection. Because they are unripe, green peppers are less sweet and slightly more bitter than yellow, orange, purple or red peppers.’ ‘

Michael Joy: ‘I imagine that green peppers are cheaper because the growers have a longer time to get them to market before they go bad. Also, since ANY bell pepper that is not ripe can be a green pepper, there are more sources of green peppers. Meanwhile once ripe (in either yellow or red), the growers have a shorter time to get them to the consumer. And only a yellow pepper will be yellow, so there aren’t as many of them.’


My brother: ‘You write, ‘Have you not heard of eggplant ptarmigan?’ No. And it’s probably more expensive than chicken.’

Ed:‘Eggplant ptarmigan’??? As an avid birdwatcher, I urge you not to encourage people to eat ptarmigan.’

☞ Oops. It seems I left out the second ‘i’ in parmigian, and Spell Check took a wild guess.


Peter Kaczowka: ‘There are some good ideas in Pickens’ plan, but using natural gas for transportation is not one of them. Internal combustion engines are badly inefficient, compared to electric engines and generating electricity, not to mention being dirty and noisy. Pickens seems to believe that it will take 30 years before electric cars are practical, but somehow we can switch our cars to natural gas quickly. The US would need a network of natural gas filling stations, while we already have electric ‘filling stations’ everywhere. A better use for natural gas would be to replace oil for use in home heating and electric power generation. Together heat and power generation account for nearly 20% of the oil we use. Stop using oil for that, get some SUVs off the road, and we can hit his 38% reduction in oil use. Many folks here in the Northeast would appreciate moving from oil heat to natural gas.’

James Ooi: ‘US GDP is $13 trillion, so importing $700 billion of oil represents less than 6% of our national income, so ‘going broke fast’ seems exaggerated, akin to saying I’m going broke fast because I earn $100K and spend $6K on heating and gasoline and will have spent $60K in 10 years. Our wealth as a nation depends far more on using the lowest cost source of energy (subject to environmental concerns, and here, wind power shines) than it does trying to source our energy from within the country. T. Boone Pickens surely knows this, so I wonder about his motives.’

☞ Hmmm. There are 300 million of us in the U.S., so spending $700 billion a year comes to $2,333 a year for each of us; about $10,000 for a family of four (plus a dog). I have nothing against the Canadians, Venezuelans, or Middle Easterners from whom we get most of our oil. After all, they can use that $700 billion to buy our products (or, say, 100 million acres of prime American farmland each year . . . or all the stock of Apple and IBM and Yahoo! and Amazon and Boeing and the entire US airline and auto industry each year). But speaking selfishly, I guess I’d rather we sent that money to ourselves, to build clean, renewable energy sources.

But James is not the only one who wonders about Pickens’s motives. David Bruce kindly sent me this link, suggesting that gaining a water monopoly, and a right of way to pipe his water to thirsty cities, may be a quiet part of his plan.

Tomorrow: That $490 Billion Budget Deficit Is Actually $700 Billion or More

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