We hold these vegetables to be self-evident
November 17, 2011 7:51 AM Subscribe
posted by davidjmcgee (91 comments total)
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Tomato: fruit or vegetable? In 1893, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Nix v. Hedden that the tomato is legally a vegetable and not a fruit
, botanical definitions be damned. In 2001, the European Union disagreed
, saying that "tomatoes, the edible parts of rhubarb stalks, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons and water-melons are considered to be fruit".
Arkansas punted on the decision, in 1987 naming the tomato its official fruit and vegetable
In 2005, New Jersey upheld SCOTUS precedent and named the tomato its state vegetable
In 2009, Ohio stood firm with botanical taxonomy and named the tomato its official fruit
Recently, the US Department of Agriculture has proposed new school lunch standards
(PDF warning) relating not tomatoes proper, but to tomato paste:
This proposal would specifically change the current practice of crediting tomato paste and puree. Currently tomato paste and puree are credited as a calculated volume based on their whole-food equivalency using the percent natural tomato soluble solids in paste and puree, while other fruit paste and purees (such as blackberries puree) are credited based on actual volume as served. Under this proposal, schools would credit tomato paste and puree based on actual volume as served. Schools would not be allowed to credit a volume of fruit or vegetables that is more than the actual serving size.
The US Congress this week is preparing to reject that proposal
For now, according to US law, not only is the tomato legally a vegetable, two tablespoons of tomato paste is too