The Staple Ingredient Duff Goldman Never Wants To See Again In His Life

The internet is full of fact and fiction, ideas and opinions — especially about food. Viral trends and hacks can be both questionable and legitimate, and an ever-burgeoning virtual library of recipes awaits the home cook at the mouse and keyboard. But it's not all foodie love that web users are spreading. In a tweet, celebrity baker Duff Goldman wrote, "Bell peppers ruin everything they touch. Everything. Ruined. Everything." Many people responded in agreement, rallying against everything from the peppers' flavor to the burps they cause (via TODAY).

Goldman's statement revealed a particular dislike of green bell peppers. Celebrity chefs Aarón Sánchez and Giada de Laurentiis shun them too. NHK World — Japan writes that green bell peppers are despised by Japanese children, much like broccoli repulses many kids in America, to the point of being consistently voted the "most hated" by the youth there. Author and speaker Annie F. Downs calls bell peppers "bossy" and "overbearing" in her blog. Why all the vehemence and vitriol for these verdant vegetables?

The taste is bothersome

While red, yellow, and orange peppers are sweet, green peppers have an unsweet, vegetal, and even bitter taste. That's because green bell peppers aren't ripe yet. That's right — green bell peppers are not a detested imposter, but the same exact vegetable as their better-liked, cheerily-colorful counterparts. All peppers start off green and change color and accumulate tasty sugar as they grow, and on top of the usual suspects, you might encounter purple or even blackish peppers, according to Mississippi State University Extension.

Chemical Book explains that the mowed-grass odor of green bell peppers comes from 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine. It can produce an unwanted characteristic in wine (per American Journal of Enology and Viticulture). Yes, green peppers are even messing with our wine. Why is such a widely-loathed vegetable even sold? Marketplace explains that green peppers are ready to pick more quickly than ripened ones (and thus cheaper), and producers must make room for the colored peppers to grow.

Further capsicum complaints

Bell peppers take work. You wash them, remove the stem, deal with the seeds, and trim off the whitish, pesky pith. Then there's the possible discovery of an embryonic pepper growing within, like something from the "Alien" movies (vivipary, per the University of Connecticut). Foodprint. reports that pepper agriculture calls for high amounts of pesticides (via Environmental Working Group), and that they're often monocropped, which can raise potential ecological concerns. According to Registered Dietician Brynn McDowell, bell pepper skin is hard for the body to process, particularly if uncooked, and may cause digestive issues (via Insider). Cutting off the skin adds yet another step to pepper prep. 

If you decide to give them a chance, green peppers are rich in iron and lutein, and contain more vitamin C by weight than oranges (per WebMD). If you can't do hot chilis, green peppers are a mild option that provides the same health benefits. Misfits Market explains that thorough cooking does mellow their bitterness. Green peppers are popularly paired with beef or chicken in fajitas, are found in Asian stir-fries, and can be stuffed with meat, grains, or legumes. So if you can stand the taste, unlike Duff Goldman, give peppers another chance.