National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month (Week 2)

June 6, 2019

The Counseling Corner

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of one’s daily diet. In preparation for this series, I asked a few children and youth what they thought the difference was between a fruit and a vegetable. I then gave some children examples and they were easily able to distinguish between a fruit and a vegetable, others were unsure whether a tomato, a pumpkin or even a green pepper was a fruit or a vegetable. Is there a difference between a fruit and a vegetable?

I defer to LiveScience for a response to this question. According to LiveScience, botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. By those standards, seedy outgrowths such as apples, squash and, yes, tomatoes are all fruits, while roots such as beets, potatoes and turnips, leaves such as spinach, kale, and lettuces, and stems such as celery and broccoli are all vegetables. (Source: “What’s the Difference Between A Fruit and a Vegetable”, LiveScience, June 2012).

According to Merriam-Webster, “Anything that grows on a plant and is the means by which that plant gets its seeds out into the world is a fruit.” That means avocados, beans, pea pods, corn, cucumbers, nuts, olives, peppers, sunflower seeds and again, tomatoes, are technically fruit. To contrast the difference between a fruit and vegetable, see the chart below:

Fruit vs. Vegetable Fruit:

• Fruits are the product of plant growth, ripened ovaries of seed plant
• Fruits contains seeds
• Fruits are mostly sweet
• Fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories. Fruits are essential nutrients that are under consumed such as potassium, dietary fiber, Vitamin C and folic acid.


• Vegetable is the edible part of a plant
• Vegetables do not contain seeds
• Vegetables are very subtly sweet. Examples of sweet vegetables include corn, carrots, sweet potatoes
• Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. None have cholesterol. They are important sources of dietary fiber, Vitamin A and C.

Beloved, did you know that the classification of what’s a fruit and what’s a vegetable became the subject of a Supreme Court case in 1893? In Nix v. Hedden, the U.S. Supreme Court had to weigh in on this discussion in order to settle this debate. It was unanimously ruled that a tomato should be taxed as a vegetable although botanically speaking it is a fruit.

Next Week: Continuation

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.