More than ever fresh produce consumers want to know how and where their food is grown. As a farmer that grew up in the 80’s, it is refreshing for people of all generations to be inquisitive of how commercial produce farming is done. There was a long period of time when most people never even thought about how food got on the shelf. I would like to take the opportunity to share answers to common questions that we receive via email and social media most frequently.
We are a conventional grower committed to sustainable agricultural practices to create a natural balance on our farms. That's why we use a process called Integrated Pest Management to help us reduce our use of pesticides by promoting beneficial insects to keep harmful insect populations in check.
For instance, we use a special sunflower to help us control one of our most stubborn pests — the dreaded thrip. Thrips are tiny insects that hide in the nooks and crannies of our peppers, so they are hard to control with pesticides. Well we have a little friend called the Minute Pirate Bugs that love to eat thrips, but they also need plenty of flower pollen to raise their baby pirates. So we plant our special sunflowers in the perimeters of our pepper fields to create the perfect environment to attract and establish healthy pirate bug populations who keep thrip populations in check — without pesticides.
Another example we can show is the use of ground crab meal to protect vegetable roots from root-knot and other nematodes in the soil instead of fumigation. How does this work? The ground crab shells slowly decay in the soil and this organic material promotes a special bacteria that attacks nematode eggs thus avoiding the need to use fumigants in the soil to control these. These are just a few examples of how we integrate biological controls into our conventional program.
We get frequent inquiries regarding this also and want to answer this question in a factual way that is not taking one side of this debate or the other. Many are concerned about consuming the GMO peppers because of the genetics and overuse of Glyphosate (active chemical in Roundup).
The fact is that there are no GMO pepper seed in the world that are available commercially at this time. In addition, if you spray Glyphosate on peppers it will kill it just like it would a weed. Conventional breeding is so effective nowadays that it is not feasible to go to the trouble and expense of producing GMO seed. Newly emerging genetic mapping technology is really accelerating traditional breeding techniques better than ever before with breeders being able to target desirable traits into peppers faster than ever before. The strides in this area are actually reducing the amount of fungicides used in pepper production!
I hope this answers the basic concerns and questions as to how we grow our specialty peppers. We may continue to add to this page as necessary based on questions that come in from the valued consumers that enjoy our products.
Bailey Farms, Inc.
Chile peppers, including the green varieties, have been cultivated for thousands of years in the Americas and are now produced worldwide. This chart demonstrates the anatomy of the jalapeño pepper, which also applies to chile peppers in general.
The answer is yes to some degree. Dr. Paul Rozen, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania has studied this phenomenon and found that when people eat hot food, their brains secrete endorphins. The effects are similar to those athletes experience when they get their "second wind". The sense of well-being attained from eating massive amounts of chile peppers is what keeps them coming back for more. This rush heightens a person’s awareness and tends to take their minds off unpleasant thoughts. Other substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and coffee also do this, but have longer effects. Another reason chile peppers can become habit forming is because of the flavor intensity they add to food and food can then seem bland without it.
Chile peppers appeal to a person’s sense of adventure and the mesmerizing visual allure of their vibrant colors and shapes along with the hot surprise they hold inside make them a dangerous but exciting vegetable. People like chile peppers for the same reasons they enjoy roller coasters, fast cars, and their memberships in The Polar Bear Club because hot foods push a person’s tolerance for pain to the limit without there being any real danger.
Anaheim and Poblano chiles possess a tough outer skin that should be removed before using them in recipes. This is done by roasting and blistering the chile until the skin is separated from the meat of the chile making it easy to peel off.
The chemical responsible is called capsaicin (cap-SAY-sin). The heat in chile peppers comes primarily from five compounds of this chemical. Some of these compounds are more pungent than others and their development varies according to species, growth conditions, and stage of maturity. Most of the capsaicin is found on the longitudinal ribs inside of the chile pepper.
Capsaicin is a very powerful and stable alkaloid. It is slightly soluble in water, but very soluble in alcohols, fats, and oils. It is detectable to human palates when diluted by up to 17 million times. The level of this substance in chile peppers is usually reflected by Scoville Heat Units, a scale devised to classify the levels of pungency in chile peppers.
This substance is used in more things than food. It is used in the manufacture of throat lozenges, liniments for rheumatism or neuritis, and don’t forget the pepper spray that cops carry around.
The Scoville Heat Unit Scale is the industry standard in which the heat of chile peppers is measured and compared. This scale is named after the man who developed it, Wilbur Scoville, who was a pharmacologist with Parke Davis. In 1912 he developed a method which used a panel of five taste testers. They took exact weights of chile peppers and dissolved the capsaicin in alcohol. This solution was then diluted with sugar water until it was no longer detectable to the palate. For example, if the dilution required was 1,000 units of water to 1 unit of alcohol solution then the sample was said to measure 1,000 Scoville Units. At least three panel members had to agree before a value was assigned. Although the development of this method was innovative in classifying the chile peppers according to heat, it was highly subjective and imprecise because it involved human testers.
Today high-pressure liquid chromatography, a sophisticated analytical method which uses a Liquid Chromatograph, is used to measure capsaicin content in peppers. This method is much more accurate and precise. It measures the capsaicin levels in parts per million (mg/L). This is then converted to Scoville Units.
If you are totally burned out from eating too much hot food here are a few remedies that may help the heat subside quicker. Always remember that capsaicin (the substance that make peppers hot) is only slightly soluble in water, therefore it is not very effective at quenching the heat. It is very soluble however in oils and alcohols.
We're Partial to #5!
Chile peppers have received a bad reputation for causing damage to the lining of the stomach. Despite this reputation, medical evidence has proven repeatedly that capsaicin does not harm the stomach lining.
Perhaps, the most convincing study proving this fact was done by a team of doctors led by Dr. David Graham at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. In this study they inserted a video endoscopeinto the stomach to inspect it visually while inserting a series of test items into the stomach. They used bland food, plain aspirin, hot Mexican food and pizza. They then inspected the stomach for gastric erosions on the stomach lining and by far the most damaging meal was the bland one combined with aspirin.
To further test just capsaicin alone, the doctors injected thirty grams of Jalapeños directly into the stomach lining and there was no visible damage. According to Dr. Graham, "We conclude that although capsaicin increased gastric acid secretion in the stomach and causes discomfort, it does not appear to cause stomach lining damage."
In addition, some gastroenterologists suggest that capsaicin increases the stomach’s production of protective juices thus protecting the stomach from damage that may be caused by other things such as aspirin or alcohol.
Short: The answer is no according to studies. Capsaicin can actually have a protective effect on the stomach preventing ulcers. However if there are already ulcers in the stomach capsaicin could irritate those lesions.
Peppers are low calorie and high fiber foods that are packed with vitamins A, C and E plus beta-carotene, potassium, and folic acid. In fact they have more vitamin A than carrots and more vitamin C than oranges. The large amounts of antioxidants in peppers of various colors make them excellent additions to cancer-prevention diets.
Also the capsaicin in chile peppers even add more health benefits to peppers such as pain relief, lower incidence of stroke and heart disease and prevention of ulcers. Tasty medicine I'll say!
We work very hard to ensure that our chiles are the quality and characteristics that every consumer is looking for. For instance there are over forty varieties of jalapeños on the market. Some are bred for ease of growing, disease resistance, increased production and smooth skin appearance. Unfortunately many of these have gotten away from the traditional eating characteristics of jalapeños. Some may have very little heat, some may have a very hard outer skin, and while others may not look or taste like a jalapeño at all.
We only work with the varieties that have the correct characteristics, even though it may not always be the easiest to grow and handle. We do this for all of the varieties that we sell. Our many years of experience and our aggressive field trial and breeding program allow us to consistently deliver a superior product that looks and tastes like it should. We also do everything we can to get them to the consumer as fresh as possible. If your grocery store does not carry our chiles, please ask your produce manager "Why not!"
Bailey Farms searched the world over for a sweeter, crispier pepper and found a brilliant standout in the DulceFina. In a category all its own, the DulceFina pepper exceeds expectations as both exceptionally sweet and deliciously crunchy. In fact, it’s preferred three to one in taste tests over regular yellow mini sweet peppers. This brilliant beauty is perfect for sweetening snack time or embellishing dishes.
DulceFina peppers are grown in the field on our farms in North Carolina and Florida. Their fantastic flavor is accompanied with plenty of vitamins and nutrients to make them a bright, crispy snack.
BellaFina™ peppers may be used to create a wide variety of recipes, from appetizers to main dishes. BellaFina peppers are often used in salads, vegetables trays with or without dip, cooked in stews and sauces and stuffed with meat, cheese and grains.
Grown on the vine in the field, BellaFina peppers are a great source of vitamins and nutrients. They are low calorie, fat free, sodium free and high in Vitamin C.
We work very hard to ensure that our chiles are the
quality and characteristics that every consumer is looking
for. For instance there are over forty varieties of jalapeños
on the market. Some are bred for ease of growing,
disease resistance, increased production and smooth skin appearance. Unfortunately many of these have gotten away from the traditional eating characteristics of jalapeños. Some may have very little heat, some may have a very hard outer skin, and while others may not look or taste
like a jalapeño at all.
We only work with the varieties that have the correct characteristics, even though it may not always be the easiest to grow and handle. We do this for all of the varieties that we sell. Our many years of experience and our aggressive ﬁeld trial and breeding program allow us to consistently deliver a superior product that looks and tastes like it should. We also do everything we can to get them to the consumer as fresh as possible. If your grocery store does not carry our chiles, please ask your produce manager "Why not!"
Dried chiles expand the culinary possibilities of chile peppers. The drying process can be compared to the aging of wine in which the flavors change and intensify over time. These come in a variety of shapes, heat and flavors and can be used in many different recipes.
We have joined with the producer of the finest dried chiles in Mexico to be able to offer volumes of high-quality dried chiles. We offer these in packages and bulk.
We are now using our homegrown chiles to produce hot sauces. The Bailey Farms brand of hot sauces are all natural and of the highest quality. Unlike other sauces that are mostly pepper-vinegar, our's are a blend of chiles and fresh vegetables that are cooked down to perfection and deliver the perfect balance of heat and flavor. We produce a jalapeno sauce for the milder tastes and a red habanero for the more adventurous spicy-food lover.
Of all of these items tomatillo is by far the biggest mover and is actually one of the items we started with. As time has gone by we have, at the request of our customers, added other items to the line. We grow the tomatillo year-round while some of these other items are imported.
The best American name for this vegetable would probably be "Mexican green tomato", but they actually taste nothing like regular tomatoes, In fact, the tomatillo is not a tomato at all. The tomatillo has a tart, lemony ﬂavor that is enhance when cooked. (especially roasted)and is an excellent base for salsas. While salsa (salsa verde) is the most popular way to enjoy tomatillo, they can be used in other ways. Tomatillos contain high amounts of vitamin A&C. Tomatillos are our #1 sales item!
Looking for a great pepper recipe? Then select a category and try one of ours. If you like one, take a picture of the final dish, upload it to Instagram and hashtag it with #BaileyFarmsRecipe.