Red Okra Pods in album produce

In Albums:produce okra

Red okra pods, in a basket, with green okra pods on the left

Aug 7th, 2011, by Alex Zorach

This photo shows red okra pods that were for sale at the Fair Food Farmstand in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. This red okra, as well as the green okra shown on the left, was grown by Lancaster Farm Fresh in Leola, PA, and is certified organic. Both green and red okra were sold for $5.75 a pound, which is a steep price for this vegetable. I was curious to try the red okra but was deterred by the high price.

In general, dark red vegetables tend to be more nutritious than their green counterparts. There are several reasons for this, but one of them is that the pigments responsible for the red color are biologically active compounds that have value both in their own right, and in terms of preserving the freshness of the food. Reddish pigments, which include carotenoids (like beta carotene and many others) and anthocyanins (the color in raspberries or blood oranges) function as antioxidants and range from essential nutrients like Vitamin A to inessential but beneficial compounds like the pigments in raspberries.

If given the choice of red or green, I would choose red okra. Perhaps I will try this some day, either if the price comes down, or if curiosity gets the better of me and overcomes my frugal nature. I will say that I do love okra. I love it fried, pickled, I love it in gumbo, and I absolutely love it in Indian food, with liberal quantities of spices and hot peppers.