Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tomatoes

I am really tired of people telling me that a tomato is a fruit "because it has seeds." (This came up most recently while discussing the Food Pyramid in my Introduction to Teaching class, but it has come up before.) Now, a tomato may very well be a fruit. I really have no idea. However, the presence of seeds cannot be the defining factor between fruits and vegetables because every fruit and every vegetable has the ability to have seeds; that's how they're replanted! Has anyone ever cut open a green pepper? It certainly has seeds, but it is not a fruit! How about eaten a corn kernel? That itself is a seed! Have you eaten a cucumber? Vegetables have seeds, too.

4 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

Do potatoes have the ability to have seeds? I always thought they were a sort of energy storage place for the plant... I also have no wisdom on this matter, however I feel that tomatoes have more fruit-like characteristics than veggie, and in my world that's enough to classify it as such.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Lucas said...

I think saying a tomato is a fruit "because it has seeds" is a more simplistic way of saying it is a fruit "because it is the mature ovary of a flowering plant." http://www.mistupid.com/food/fruits.htm this website has a game about it.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Abigail said...

This was a very controversial post! Goodness me! Two responses in two days ... It's almost as if I posted about Harry Potter (which I just made a mobile about for my Children's Literature class).

And I think I can go with "because it is the mature ovary of a flowering plant."

Though I prefer to think of tomatoes as vegetables because, like many vegetables, they are gross. That is pretty much my defining characteristic. It it's sweet and tasty, it's a fruit. If it's gross and is often seen on lettuce, it's a vegetable.

Is it a problem that I am going to be an elementary teacher? WAIT! No, I'm not. I forgot.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Lucas said...

Have you noticed that sometimes tomatoes taste like trash? I kind of like them otherwise, but I'm always paranoid that I'm going to bite into a seedy wet trashy gross-textured ovary. Tomatoes also smell trashy when they rot. Actually, I probably just associate the smell of trash with rotting tomatoes.

3:07 PM  

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