berries are fruit too

Discussion in 'Vegetarian' started by RainbowCat, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. RainbowCat

    RainbowCat Senior Member

    now, i define a fruit as somthing that's sweet and juicy, has seeds (usually).... ect. People say that tomatos is a berry, but it's not to me, because would you eat tomatoes in a fruit salad? no, you eat tomatoes with vegetables, and they seem to be grown in vegetable gardens, not berry gardens (i know, it's farms, but berry garden sounds better) . now, people say that berries AND melons are not fruits. BUT i say they are. they are eaten in FRUIT salads, and they taste like other fruits. they naturally go together. if a berry isnt a fruit for being a berry, than why isnt a banana not a fruit because its a bannana. i know that they are defined by how they grow and what they look like, but i do not label them by that. i am not being scientific, i'm just making a small point that i usually think of. i know i sound like a fuckin idiot, but i choose to not care and speak frealy my stupid, uneducated thoughts.

    i figured this went in the vegetarin section because it has nothing to do with meat
  2. kitty fabulous

    kitty fabulous smoked tofu

    ok, i took 2 or 3 semesters of college-level botany, but its been years so i'll do my best. basically, there's a difference between the culinary and botanical classifications for edible plants.

    the botanical classification "fruit" refers to the ripened, fertilized portion of a plant called an ovary, specifically, it contains a seed. a banana is not a fruit, because the ovary is not fertilized and therefore contains no seed. banana seeds are actually about the size of your thumb, and pretty much make the banana inedible.

    there are different classifications of fruit, according to how the fruit forms as the seed develops. legumes and nuts are also botanically considered fruit, as are indedible dry fruit such as burdock burrs and maple "twirlers". i believe pine cones are also botanically classified as fruit.

    tomatoes are botanically classified as berries because of the way the fruit forms. it is fleshy and pulpy throughout, is formed from a single ovary, and contains the seed on the inside. thus strawberries are not botanically classified as berries because they have external seeds. raspberries and blackberries are not berries, but are classified as "aggregate fruits"; i believe they are formed by the ripening of multiple ovaries. gooseberries, grapes, and i believe blueberries and huckleberries are true berries.

    melons are a type of berry called a pepo. squash, pumpkins, and cucumbers are also under this classification. i believe the tough rind is one of the distinquishing features.

    drupes are berries that contain a "stone" pit, such as peaches, plums, and cherries.

    pomes are berries such as apples and pears.

    "vegetables" refers to the edible parts of plants that are not fruits. these would include things like tubers (potatoes) and roots, leaves (like lettuce), stems (celery stalks) and flowering heads (asparagus tips, artichokes, and broccoli)

    mushrooms are not flowering plants but fungus. i believe they are classified as "fruit", because they are the spore-bearing body of the fungus' reproductive cycle, but it's a different kind of fruit. they aren't plants, so technically they aren't vegetables. the study of fungus is mycology, however, not botany (which is what i studdied), so i'm not exactly sure how the classification system works.

    they are classified botanically not according to use, as not all related plants are edible and culinary use as a sweet "fruit" or savory "vegetable" will often vary from culture to culture for the same food. for example, you think of bananas (which are actually plantains; true bananas are small and red) as something yellow and sweet, eaten raw in whole or in fruit salads, etc. but my puerto rican husband may think of platanos (the same food) as something green and hard, sliced and fried with garlic and spices, or pulverized and boiled wrapped in paper and ti leaves with ground meat and spices.

    in botany, all plants are classified according to how they flower and fruit; sometimes the differences are very subtle. to me, it's a fascinating science. of course, i am an incredible nerd.

    hope that clarifies things. especially the part about me being a nerd.
  3. MikeE

    MikeE Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    There was a famous court case which held that tomatoes may be botanicaly fruit, but are considered a vegetable for the purposes of taxation. The reasoning was that fruits are usualy eaten for desert and vegetables with the main course. Thus, by our eating habits, a tomato is a gastrinomicaly a vegetable.
  4. RainbowCat

    RainbowCat Senior Member

    i didnt know a bannana wanst a fruit! wow! that's AWESOME! my boyfriend (somewhat of a nerd, also) was telling me about this! i wonder if he knows all this! i shall show it to him! yay! i love talking about fruits and vegetables. it's somthing positive
  5. kitty fabulous

    kitty fabulous smoked tofu

    botany is a true and secret passion for me that i never really did anything with, which is sort of ironic because i have a tendency to kill everything i try to grow, lol! i'm most interested in useful and edible wild plants. i had seriously considered studying botanical illustration in college, but i became pregnant with my first child and had to leave school before i had really made a decision.

    the most fascinating and beautiful plant i have ever seen was a marijuana plant a friend-of-a-friend was growing on his window. alas, he would not let me draw it, for obvious reasons. marijuana was actually once a very common plant, and has an interesting reproductive cycle as it has separate genders. unfortunately i never got the opportunity to study it closely, again, for obvious reasons. it confounds me, how can a government presume to illegalize a plant or any part of nature?!? but that is a rant for another board. however, this should serve as an illustration of the previous statement regarding my nerdhood: here's my friend growing pot on his window, and all i care about is its anatomy and reproductive cycle! :p

    returning to the subject of fruits and vegetables, i think the most interesting edible fruit would be the fig, because of the way it is fertilized and formed. i believe it is fertilized by a wasp that crawls up inside the flower; and the fruit forms from the inside out. cashews are interesting too; they have external seeds that hang of the end of the fruit. the rest of the cashew plant is actually very toxic. also, it might be interesting for you to know that when you eat an almond, you are not eating a nut, but the interior portion of the stone of a drupe! i believe the same is true for walnuts as well.

    if you are genuinely interested in fruits and flowers i would encourage you to consider taking a botany class. colleges offer them and they meet the minimum requirements for science; if it truly fascinates you, you can major in it as well, all the way up through grad school. i was an art major, primarily interested in illustration, but it is a science that many people happily dedicate their lives to. you can also often find classes on wild plants, natural history, and winter botany through nature and science centers.

    when we put a fruit or vegetable into our cart at a supermarket, usually all we are thinking about is a salad. if we are consciensious, we may be thinking about organics, pesticides, and soil quality. but seldom do we ponder that what we are holding is another life, with its own cycles and miracles. as vegetarians we often make the claim that our reasons for choosing not to ingest animal products have to do with not wanting to take a life to support ours; however, what we really are referring to is consciousness. but when it really comes down to the miracle of "aliveness , it really is not possible to separate plant life from animal life. plants do not have consciousness (well, not that is in any way similar to ours) but they do have life, and that life is just as sacred, miraculous, and worthy of respect.

    whee! nerdsville!:p

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