Posted by: grantahelms | December 29, 2013

Botanically Speaking


We have all heard the argument, is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable. Today I was immersed in just such a discussion. It’s a vegetable. Right? We eat it on salads, in sauces and it is the base vegetable in V8 juice. Even the Supreme Court of the United States has classified a tomato as a vegetable. In 1893 the Supreme Court ruled that a tomato is a vegetable in the hearing of Nix vs Hedden. So what is all the commotion?

Technically speaking, well Botanically, it is a fruit. I can live with that. Some are sweet and juicy. But as I pondered this however, I came across a disturbing fact to me. If I had been lied to about tomatoes, what else is there that might be a fruit and I was taught they were a vegetable. What I found, kind of, well frankly, blew my mind.

Botanically speaking, if Exhibit A has its seeds inside then it is considered a fruit. If the seeds are on the outside, it is a vegetable. Cool, so far so good. Apples, oranges, watermelons, strawberries… wait, a strawberries seeds are on the outside. That makes it a vegetable. That’s weird. I digress.

Pomegranate, kiwi, persimmon, lemon, grapefruit, and what? Cucumbers? Seriously? A fruit? And eggplant?But they are not sweet. How can this be? But then I see the big list.

Fruits in the botanical sense, but used as vegetables

tomatoescucumberssquashzucchinispumpkinspeppers, eggplanttomatilloschayoteokrabreadfruitavocadopods, seeds such as corngreen beans and snow peas.

These people must be crazy. But I guess if you follow the botanical standard, they are all fruits. So why were we always taught that these were vegetables? Before botany ruined everything that I had been taught, great, great, great, great…….well, you get the picture. My ancestor from a long time ago, Bubba, took a bite from an apple and it was sweet. He ate an orange and it was sweet. Then he bit an onion. Not sweet. So, everything sweet was classified a fruit, and everything not sweet or tart was classified as a vegetable. Back in those days they didn’t care about where the seeds were, they just knew what tasted good.

Then along came these guys that wanted to study plants. They were called botanists. When they tried to explain to everyone that some vegetables were actually fruits, they got sent to the back of the room with Copernicus. He was the guy that said the world was round.


After a few hundred years, they got the king of England to listen to what they said. He thought it was a grand idea. If he could classify these vegetables as fruits, he could place more of a tax on them. And he did. It’s a great thing that the American Indians had taught the settlers about corn, squash, watermelon and the such beforehand. You see what happened when the King sent taxed tea over here.

So anyhow, I just wanted you to know not to believe everything you learned in school. Maybe English really isn’t. And while we are on the subject, is 1+1 really 2? Think about it. One man meets one woman and starts a family. So is the equation of the family always two? Just a silly thought. Enough silliness for one night. Just remember to eat your fruits and veggies. Even if you don’t remember what they are.

” What common misconceptions do we take for reality on a daily basis?”

” Have you ever learned something, just to find out later in life that it was wrong?”

” Will this little morsel of info change how you eat? Will you take advantage of this knowledge by telling your children to eat their fruits?”

I look forward to any comments. Even silly ones. Love y’all.



  1. I lived a sheltered life. I was taught all the malarkey everyone else learned was crap.

    • And I am the mean Momma. They eat it whether it is fruit or vegetable. 😉 I even make them eat the leaves and bark. 😛

      • How well I know, lol.

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