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Nutrition Q & A

Is a Tomato a Vegetable or a Fruit?

Legally, tomatoes have been considered a vegetable in the United States since 1893 when the classification issue was brought before the US Supreme court. The court provided this decision in the case of Nix vs. Hedden:

Botanically, tomatoes are considered a fruit of the vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas. But in common language of people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions, all these are vegetables which are grown in kitchen gardens, and which, 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.

Source: Nix v. Hedden, 149 US 304 (1893)

You will find the tomato in the vegetable section of MyPlate.


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