Bell Peppers Don’t have a Gender! Here’s the truth

False Food

Unknown facts and amazing properties of certain herbs and food items and their medicinal values have often been shared in various posts on social media over the years. 

Recently we noticed a post titled “FOODFACT” on an Instagram account called “Veganfitlyfe” with the caption “Find out the gender of Bell Peppers” which had been circulating since the end of 2019. The post goes on to state that “Flip the bell peppers over to check their gender. The ones with 4 bumps are females and those with three bumps are male. The female peppers are full of feeds, but sweeter and better for eating raw and the males are better for cooking. I didn’t know this”

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We noticed similar claims on Facebook as well.

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Even though many had disputed this myth, considering the high number of engagement for some posts we decided to find out the truth behind this bizarre claim.

Fact Check 

When we did a Google search for the claim we noticed that similar claims had been debunked by various parties and fact checking organizations for over 5 years now, yet this urban legend seem to be making rounds every once in a while.

We checked the explanations given by some of the renowned universities regarding this myth related to Bell peppers. The Ohio State University states that “bell peppers grow from flowers that have both male and female parts. The peppers, which are the fruits of a pepper plant, each contain ovaries that produce the seeds inside the peppers. Each pepper is produced through self-fertilization. The seeds are formed in each pepper after pollination, with those seeds then able to form new pepper plants.”

The article goes on to explain that “Just like many other fruits and vegetables, the degree of sweetness is generally a factor of how ripe the fruit or vegetable is. Bell peppers start out green, then ripen to yellow, then orange, then red, and in some cases turn purple. Thus red, orange, yellow, and purple bell peppers are generally sweeter than green bell peppers. And the lobes on peppers are determined by growing conditions and genetics, so they don’t indicate the sweetness factor of the pepper in any way.

Ohio State University | Oregon State University

Here are some of the fact checks previously done regarding this claim over the years. Snopes 2015 | AFP 2019

Below is a video explaining the myth behind the gender and taste of bell peppers.

Another interesting fact about bell peppers is that while they are often described as a vegetable from a culinary perspective, botanically it is called a fruit.

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Conclusion 

Therefore, it is clear that bell peppers do not have any gender, bell peppers grow from flowers that have both male and female parts. A four-lobed pepper has more seeds than a three-lobed pepper, this has more to do with the overall size. Also the number of lobes on a bell pepper does not have any bearing on its taste. Just like many other fruits and vegetables, the degree of sweetness is generally a factor of how ripe the bell pepper is.

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Title:Bell Peppers Don’t have a Gender! Here’s the truth

Fact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe 

Result: False

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