The Supreme court said what????? About tomatoes?

March 9, 2017** Lucinda, - News and Updates Standard

The Supreme court said what????? About tomatoes?

Did you know that five states named the tomato as a state symbol? It’s the state fruit of Tennessee and Ohio, the state vegetable of New Jersey, the state “vegetable plant” of Louisiana, and it’s both the state fruit and the state vegetable of Arkansas. Err, okay… that makes no sense. How can it be both a fruit and a vegetable? Which one is it really?

Believe it or not, the supreme court had something to say about that!

Technically speaking, if you’re a botanist, tomatoes are totally, unquestionably, fruits. Why? Because they come from the fertilized ovary of a flower. As it happens, so do squash, zucchini, pumpkins, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, corn kernels, and bean and pea pods. They’re all actually fruits, not vegetables – botanically speaking anyway.

Legally speaking, on the other hand, tomatoes are veggies. You see, way back in the day (1886), some guy called John Nix refused to pay the 10% import tax on his tomatoes. Why? Because the tax (also known as a tariff) was on vegetables only and technically tomatoes are a fruit. So there- take that tax man!

Cue: A legal battle. The case went all the way to the supreme court! Yep, it sure did.  Anyway, the supreme court ruled the tomato is a vegetable arguing, “Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of the vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans and peas. But in the common language of the people…all these are vegetables which … are usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meat, which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits, generally as dessert.”

Right… so because they aren’t served for dessert or in a fruit salad they MUST be a vegetable… right? With that logic, if I eat pie for supper enough times I can rule that a vegetable too? Let’s make that happen.

More recently, in the 1980s, the Reagan administration decided that both tomato ketchup and the tomato paste on pizza counted as a vegetable for the purposes of assessing the nutritional value of school meals. Yes, really…ketchup is considered a vegetable. In,  2011, Congress reviewed that decision and decided everything was just fine with the logic of calling ketchup a vegetable.

What Adam Sandler movie was that where the kid asked for 50 packets of ketchup to eat? I guess he was just wanting to get his veggies! 😉

So according to our government for the purpose of nutrition and taxes tomatoes are definitely veggies, no matter what the botanists may say.

Where do I stand on this very hot button topic? Well, you’ll find them under the fruit section of your produce love/ hate list, and it is highly unlikely that I let my kids eat 50 packets of ketchup and call it a vegetable!  Just sayin’

So there- take that Washington! I don’t care what the Supreme Court said. I am standing in solidarity with ol’ John Nix and calling my tomatoes a fruit. #resist

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