VS. Tomato—Fruit or Vegetable? Pop vs. Soda

100_1358Our world is full of controversy. Full of arguments and conflict; however, I am about to end two of the biggest conflicts on earth (that, or create an angry mob . . . I keep looking out my window to make sure that there are no torches and pitchforks coming my way). I am about to prove: why tomatoes are vegetables, and that soft drinks should be called pop, and not the s.

 Tomato—Fruit or Vegetable?

Before Madam Blueberry, before the Grapes of Wrath or the Peach, the only stars on VeggieTales were vegetables, and who was one of the show’s two costars? Bob the tomato.

Okay, on a more serious note, scientifically speaking, a tomato can be called a fruit. The scientific definition for fruit is, “the ripened ovary or ovaries of a seed-bearing plant, together with accessory parts, containing the seeds and occurring in a wide variety of forms” (“Fruit”). However, science is only one point of view, one perspective of a much larger picture. I mean, if we souly listened to science, no one would believe that there is a God, because we all would believe that Homo sapiens evolved from apes.  (On a side note—if someone walks up to you and tries to play botanist by ‘wowing you’ that a tomato’s a fruit and not a vegetable, retaliate with these two facts. 1. If you were truly a botanist, you would also know that squash, green beans, bell peppers and cucumbers were fruit (eKarjala.com), which didn’t you say, “Eat your vegetables,” while we were eating green beans the other night? And 2. “To get even more specific, tomatoes are berries. You might also want to note that bananas, avocados, and chili peppers are also berries—and that, botanically, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries? Not berries at all, my friend, but aggregate fruits” (eKarjala.com). [Mind blown!] Also, didn’t science once say that the world was flat and that the universe revolves around the earth? Science is constantly evolving; when I was in grade school, Pluto was a planet, and yet it is no longer classified as a planet, but a ‘dwarf’ planet. Science is unpredictable and is always being updated; who knows, maybe science itself will classify tomatoes as a vegetable one day?

Nevertheless, like I said before, science is only one piece of the puzzle. And technically, “Gregor Mendel: ‘vegetable’ doesn’t even have much botanical meaning. It’s a culinary term and since the tomato isn’t sweet, it’s treated as a vegetable for cooking purposes” (eKarjala.com). That’s right, in the science realm, vegetables have little power; however, the culinary world is a whole nother ball game:

“As far as cooking is concerned, some things which are strictly fruits, such as tomatoes or bean pods, may be called ‘vegetables’ because they are used in savoury rather than sweet cooking. The term ‘vegetable’ is more generally used of other edible parts of plants, such as cabbage leaves, celery stalks, and potato tubers, which are not strictly the fruit of the plant from which they come. Occasionally the term ‘fruit’ may be used to refer to a part of a plant which is not a fruit, but which is used in sweet cooking: rhubarb, for example.

“So, the answer to the question is that a tomato is technically the fruit of the tomato plant, but it’s used as a vegetable in cooking” (“Is a tomato . . .”).

Therefore, while in the scientific world where a tomato is considered a fruit, in the culinary world, (where a tomato is more useful in) it’s a vegetable. Why else do you think you can find tomatoes with potatoes and onions in the supermarket and not with the apples and oranges?

Tomatoes are not only vegetables in cooking circles, but are defined by law as vegetables as well:

“Back in 1883, a tariff was put in place to protect domestic vegetable growers by taxing imported vegetables. In 1886, the plaintiffs (Nix) imported some tomatoes from the West Indies. The collector of the port of New York (Hedden) imposed a duty on the tomatoes, which he considered vegetables. The plaintiffs paid the duty under protest and sued Hedden, arguing that tomatoes are botanically a fruit, and therefore should not be taxed as a vegetable. The case eventually ended up in the Supreme Court, which decided that while tomatoes are indeed botanically defined as fruit, consumers think of tomatoes as vegetables, and that is how they should be legally defined” (“Tomato Fruit or Vegetable?”).

Legally, and culinaryly, tomatoes are vegetables. Therefore, it is more politically correct to call a tomato a vegetable instead of a fruit. Yes, scientifically it is indeed a fruit, but as I pointed out earlier, just because ‘science says it’s true,’ it doesn’t necessarily make it a fact. Tomatoes are vegetables, case closed.

Pop vs. Soda

For the last six years, me and one of my closets friends, Tye Zola, have been locked in the never ending battle—Pop vs. Soda. I have, and will always call it ‘pop,’ while Tye insists that it should be called the s. However, here are a few reasons why soft drinks everywhere should be called pop:

1. You sound smarter. Pop, instead of so-‘da’.

2. It roles off the lips and is easy to say, not to mention as Americans we like things short. Pop is a one-syllable word, while soda takes two. (In addition, you also use less of your precious oxygen to say it.)

3. Statistically, more people say pop:


4. You can’t believe everything you see on TV. Almost every cartoon uses the s; therefore, saying it can’t be right.

5. “Joseph Priestly has been called the ‘Father of Soda Pop.’ Notice that soda is an adjective, describing pop. Pop is a noun. It is important. Soda is just a descriptive word.  Not as important. So, that should be the end of it.” (Jumping in Mud Puddles).

There you have it, five undeniable reasons why soft drinks should be called POP instead of the s.

I hope I have achieved my goal by bringing a conclusion to two of the biggest debates in the world. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to start packing my bags to leave the country before things get violent.

Please feel free to leave a comment or your opinion below.

Works Cited

eKarjala.com. Jan. 4, 2008. Web. Sept. 26, 2013.

“Fruit.” TheFreeDictionary.com. 2013. Web. Sept. 26, 2013.

“Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?” Oxforddictionaries.com. 2013. Web. Sept. 26, 2013.

 Jumping in Mud Puddles. “It’s Pop, Not Soda, Stupid. WordPress.com. 2013. Web. Sept. 26, 2013.

“Tomato Fruit or Vegetable?” OrganicGardening.com. 2013. Web. Sept. 26, 2013.

~Photos Obtained


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