The Fruit of a Vegetable

The ultimate debate: is this a fruit or a vegetable?
The ultimate debate: is this a fruit or a vegetable?

Travish: this is travish. if a food has a seed in it does that make it a fruit

[Libarian That Knows A Lot About Agriculture 08:22:15]: Librarian ‘(Censored)’ has joined the session.

[LTKALAA 08:22:23]: Hi!  I’m (Censored) in (Censored). I am helping out your librarians by answering questions for them right now. I’m reading what you wrote so I can help you…

[LTKALAA 08:22:28]: Hold on, please.

[LTKALAA 08:24:28]: Reading the definition of “fruit” in my Webster’s Dictionary makes me think that yes: if it has a seed, it’s a fruit.

[TRAVISH 08:27:20]: ok, i had a debate with mr matthews about this because we couldnt figure out if a pumpkin is a fruit, and HE said it is if it has seeds, and I said a tomato is a fruit then? and he said YES.  now, i am sure a tomato is not a fruit, not a squash, either.  is there a way to tell if something is a fruit.

[LTKALAA 08:28:47]: Tomatoes are considered fruits. Best I can tell you – look up “fruit” in a dictionary.  But, of course, we think of tomatoes as vegetables, so it’s a language thing, isn’t it?

[TRAVISH 08:30:38]: i don’t know.  mr matthews speaks the same language as me.  or do you mean they call tomatoes fruits in america but not in places they speak spanish?

[LTKALAA 08:31:30]: No, it’s botany, really. A fruit is the reproductive body of a seed plant.

[LTKALAA 08:32:29]: So a lot of the vegetables we eat are the fruits of plants.

[TRAVISH 08:33:25]: like, corn is the fruit of the corn plant?

[LTKALAA 08:33:57]: An individual kernel of corn is a seed.

[TRAVISH 08:35:08]: hmmm.  i’ll have to tell mr matthews that a corn is a fruit!  he will be surprised at all this new knowledge that i know

[LTKALAA 08:35:34]: I didn’t say corn is a fruit.

[TRAVISH 08:35:53]: but it has seeds

[TRAVISH 08:36:07]: and a cabbage would be the fruit of a cabbage plant?

[LTKALAA 08:36:29]: Right. Now I’m wondering if the ear of corn is a fruit, or do botanists have a different name for the cereals?

[TRAVISH 08:38:40]: i just call them cereal.  unless you mean oatmeal.  but some people call that porridge, even though i’m sure thouse two are totally different things.  so, maybe its like: some people call oatmeal porridge and some people call fruits vegetables, and it really doesn’t matter what they are called, they are all fruits

[LTKALAA 08:39:45]: Our words aren’t always precise.

[TRAVISH 08:41:00]: right.  it must be different when a scientist or even a doctor needs to buy groceries, but for me, i will just call foods what i THINK they are

[LTKALAA 08:41:58]: In the news this week, some arganization concerned with school lunches says the potato is not a vegetable. The potato growers association is very upset.

TRAVISH 08:42:00]: a lot of cereal has corn in the ingredients which makes sense, because who would want to eat a vegetable cereal?  i know you only eat vegetables at lunch or after

[TRAVISH 08:44:04]: well i dont think it is a vegetable, but i dont think it is a fruit either.  it is more like bread, which isn’t either one.  maybe rasion bread, but only because it has a fruit in it.  i think a potato is a grain maybe? but the growers are probably upset because they want to sell more potatoes, not because they care about science

[LTKALAA 08:45:03]: Yes, they want to sell potatoes. Back during the Reagan administration, some official declared that ketchup was a vegetable.

[TRAVISH 08:46:04]: haha he could probably make people beleive that because he was a tv actor.  he probably thought mayonaise was a fruit

[TRAVISH 08:46:48]: i’ll tell my teacher about ronald reagan.  he thinks thats the best president ever, and i keep arguing with him about that

[LTKALAA 08:47:14]: It was part of the debate about school lnches, again. “Our kids must have vegetables,” you say? Okay, then – ketchup counts as a vegetable.

[LTKALAA 08:47:24]: lunches

[TRAVISH 08:49:43]: that sounds gross.  i usually bring my own food to school.  i like ketchup, but i wouldnt want to have to eat it as my vegetable.  i understand reagan made children hungry because he cut the food programs for poor parents.  i dont understand why my teacher likes him at all

[TRAVISH 08:50:24]: maybe it was different back then because of the cold war and the space race, but i still think kids should get to eat, and they should eat better foods than ketchup

[LTKALAA 08:50:45]: Yeah, better than ketchup is a good idea!

[TRAVISH 08:53:05]: well, it doesn’t even make sense because ketchup comes from tomatoes and tomatoes are a fruit because they have seeds.  it doesn’t make sense because its not even a real food.  its just a topping, like sprinkles.  haha.  i wonder if fruit flavored sprikles could be a fruit.

[LTKALAA 08:53:50]: So much to consider. Listen, I think I’d better go help some other patrons now, okay?

[TRAVISH 08:53:53]: it sounds like a bad time for kids to live.

[TRAVISH 08:54:22]: ok, i’ll think about the fruits and talk to my teacher.  you were a good help, thank you

[LTKALAA 08:54:34]: You’re welcome. It was fun!

[TRAVISH 08:54:36]: oh gosh im going to be LATE!

[LTKALAA 08:54:41]: Good-bye!  It’s been a pleasure serving you. If you need further help, please feel free to login again.  If you have provided a valid e-mail address, you will receive a transcript of this chat session in your e-mail.  Please take a moment to complete the survey!

[TRAVISH 08:54:42]: bye

Travish’s Commentary:

I was eating cabbage in class, and Mr. Matthews took it away.  I said “Ronald Reagan already took away vegetables from kids in school, and now you are taking away our fruit!!!”  He said that cabbage is not fruit AND he sent me to the vice principal’s office!


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