As mentioned in my previous post, food is the next aspect of sustainability we are dwelling into. And the food I am choosing to research is the Bell pepper or Capsicum annum L.
Today bell peppers are used to add spice to any cuisine from Indian to Italian. It is a high carbohydrate and vitamins source that is useful for human diet in the developing countries.
It is for this reason that bell peppers are recommended in our diet. Some of its benefits are :
1. Bell peppers are low in calories! So, even if you eat one full cup of them, you get just about 45 calories. Bonus: that one cup will give you more than your daily quota of Vitamin A and C!
2.They contain plenty of vitamin C, which powers up your immune system and keeps skin youthful. The highest amount of Vitamin C in a bell pepper is concentrated in the red variety.
3. Red bell peppers contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, which lavish you with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.The capsaicin in bell peppers has multiple health benefits.
4. Studies show that it reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, controls diabetes, brings relief from pain and eases inflammation.
5. If cooked for a short period on low heat, bell peppers retain most of their sweet, almost fruity flavor and flavonoid content, which is a powerful nutrient.
6. The sulfur content in bell peppers makes them play a protective role in certain types of cancers.
The bell pepper is a good source of Vitamin E, which is known to play a key role in keeping skin and hair looking youthful.
7. Bell peppers also contain vitamin B6, which is essential for the health of the nervous system and helps renew cells.
8. Certain enzymes in bell peppers, such as lutein, protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration later in life. (courtesy :http://www.care2.com/greenliving/9-incredible-health-benefits-of-bell-peppers.html)
It is easy to conclude from the charts above that the use of Bell peppers in the united states has only increased in the past years.
By comparison, U.S. production costs are relatively high and have been increasing due to generally rising costs for energy and other farm inputs, but also because of what some analysis indicates has been an increasing regulatory regime, particularly in California, where a high portion of the nation’s fruits and vegetables are grown. A survey of California agricultural producers ranked workers’ compensation requirements, air quality, and land use regulations as the top three regulatory areas that have a perceived negative effect on farmers’ financial, operational, and managerial aspects of production.The study estimates that $1 of every $9 of farm capital
investment goes toward regulatory compliance. On labor issues, another study ranked the United States among countries with the highest rates of workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. Immigration issues are also a key concern, which may be contributing to a growing perception of a shortage of available farm workers in some production areas, especially for harvesting tree fruits and specialty row crops.
Another thing is that in the United States, fruit and vegetable producers do not directly benefit from traditional federal farm support programs that might help offset their production costs. However, they may benefit indirectly from certain government research and farm assistance programs that are generally not considered “production distorting.” The government in the United States also does not subsidize organic or locally grown produce which is another reason why this occurs.
A lot of research has been done on Bell peppers and how organic and inorganic produce differ, and the results are astonishing.
The results show that organic farming is more beneficial to both the farmers and the customers. It clearly indicates that pepper can be successfully produced organically using poultry manure in the two ecological zones under study. Since poultry manure is readily available as wastes from poultry farmers, it will be useful for farmers at very low cost and thus reduce the high cost associated with inorganic fertilizers. Our soils will also be protected from the level of acidity associated with synthetic fertilizer use. The pepper fruits produced from such will be purely organic and safer for human consumption.
Based on the information I have collected , I would like to focus on the food cycle of the bell pepper and talk about how organic farming is more beneficial to society and is a more sustainable way of life.
Below is a reference image I am inspired by and further below is the sketch of my infographic idea.