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In the great garden of life, we here at PolitiFact try our best to to weed out falsehoods. Often the claims we debunk are political. But this one is about a bell pepper.
"Flip the bell peppers over to check their gender," begins an Aug. 26 Facebook post that shows the bottoms of two green peppers. "The ones with 4 bumps are females and those with three bumps are male. The female peppers are full of seeds, but sweeter and better for eating raw, and the males are better for cooking. I didn’t know this."
Neither did we. This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
That’s because "this is a garden myth," according to the Oregon State University Extension Service.
All pepper fruits are "ripened ovaries containing seeds formed after pollination," OSU said in a Q&A. Those seeds can form new pepper plants. And the bumps are primarily related to the variety and growing conditions.
Riper peppers are sweeter, not female. That’s why red peppers are sweeter than green ones.
We rate this Facebook post False.
Facebook post, Aug. 26, 2019
Oregon State University Extension Service, "Are there male and female peppers?" June 2015
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, "Peppers!" Oct. 26, 2017
The Guardian, "Beware fake news, even in the garden," April 15, 2018
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