Scientifically Fruit, Legally Vegetable?

Although scientifically, a tomato is a fruit, it has also been held to be a vegetable. The confusion arises because scientists and nutritionists have different definitions!

Scientifically, if it grows on a plant and is the manner in which that plant gets seeds out into the world to reproduce, it’s a fruit.  Pretty much anything that grows from a plant and has seeds falls into that category (e.g., apples, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins, avocados and yes, tomatoes are all fruits scientifically speaking).  If you look to the dictionary for the definition of ‘vegetable,’ that is the part of a plant or the whole plant. So, the confusion arises because in the kitchen, from a culinary viewpoint, most people classify fruits that fall on the savory side, like tomatoes, as vegetables. Even the USDA which, from a consumer viewpoint, uses nutrition as a benchmark, lists the tomato as a vegetable.

In 1893, the U.S. Supreme Court even tossed its view into the salad.  The question that came before the court was whether imported tomatoes were subject to taxation under the Tariff Act of 1883.  Since the act only applied to vegetables and not fruits, the legal conclusion would be critical to determining whether imported tomatoes would be inside our outside the scope of the tariff. The court sided with the veggies stating “Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas,… ” “But in the common language of the people … all these are vegetables which are grown in kitchen gardens, and which, whether eaten cooked or raw, are, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and lettuce, usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits generally, as dessert.”

About 100 years later, a quote attributed to journalist Miles Kington, may have summed up the debate best: “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”


Henry Ford

“If you think you can or you think you can’t you are correct.”


The largest island in the world is Greenland.

Dean Stanley Teele

“The art of management is the art of making meaningful generalizations out of inadequate facts.”

. . and the Oscar goes to

Meryl Streep holds the record for the most Oscar nominations of any actor. With her first nomination for her role in the 1978 film The Deer Hunter she has been nominated 21 times. Eight more than both Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, tied for second place. Katherine Hepburn received four Academy Awards for Best Actress.  In 2012, with a win for her performance in Iron Lady,  she became the fifth actor to win three competitive Academy Awards for acting (Walter Brennan, Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, and Jack Nicholson). Since then, Daniel Day-Lewis became the sixth actor to achieve that distinction, winning for his role in Lincoln.

. . . and the Oscar Nominees are

Who holds the record for the most nominations of any actor for an Academy Award (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences), most often referred to as an “Oscar”?

A Beautiful Mind

John Forbes Nash Jr. is the only person to have won both the Nobel Prize (Economics) and the Abel Prize (the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in the world of mathematics). Nash made fundamental contributions to mathematics, providing major insights into the role of chance and decision-making within complex systems – many found in our everyday lives. In 1959, symptoms of schizophrenia began to emerge and he spent several years being treated in psychiatric institutions. While he was able to return to academic life, the struggle with his illness and is battle to overcome it was the subject of a biography written by Sylvia Nasar’s, which subsequently became a major motion picture bearing the same title “A Beautiful Mind.” Sadly, Nash and his wife Alicia were killed in a car crash (a taxi in which they were riding) in 2015.