bp's science: is the pumpkin a fruit or a vegetable? (v.1)

It's fall and time to think pumpkins. It's also Tuesday and time to think science...well, at least over at this blog. So we take pumpkins and science and we wonder, is a pumpkin a fruit or veggie?

Take a guess.

Well the answer isn't all that clear, really.

Science (of the botany sort) says SEEDS if it has SEEDS, it is a fruit. Simple as that. So an orange is a fruit, an apple is a fruit, a tomato is a fruit, a cucumber is a fruit, and a pumpkin is a fruit. Surprised? I am.

So if seeds are what make the difference, then yes, a carrot is a vegetable, celery is a vegetable, spinach is a vegetable, but what about green beans, peas, squash?

It appears that in everyday terms, lots of our fruits are called vegetables. Green bell peppers anyone? So when I'm told to eat 2-3 servings of fruit and 3-4 servings of vegetables a day, is this in science terms or everyday terms? I'm pretty sure it's the later. See mypyramid.gov for more info on how much of each you should have each day. And remember to eat your vegetables, er, I mean fruits, um, wait, I mean both.

photo and pumpkin recipe here


jo said...

Ah yes. The endless fruit vs. veggie debate. I'm often amused when our "science" tries to put "nature" in nice little predetermined boxes like, "fruit" or "mammal". Before long, though, you're inevitably going to find a platypus. But until we begin to understand everything there is to understand about nature, I'll stick with our scientific interpretation and use seeds as my guide. Thanks again, BP. You've saved the day on this debate.

Chap said...

aren't pumpkins cute? (we love your blog)