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Ask the Expert Archive

What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?


Q. what is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable. Trying to explain to our son’s cubscout group and there seems to be conflicting botanical vs chef theories? We are trying to provide a simple answer and are looking for a good diagram :)


A. Botanists, or plant scientists, classify fruits according to the edible portion of the plant that develops from a flower and contains seeds. A few examples include apples, cucumbers, pumpkins, and strawberries. Because some fruits are not sweet and tend to be more savory in flavor, cooks and grocers may classify them as vegetables. Case in point are tomatoes.


Vegetables on the other hand are the edible portion of plants such as leaves, stems, bulbs, and roots.  A few examples include carrots, potatoes, and celery.  Access our Fruit & Veggie Connection Magazine, Fall 2014 (pages 14 – 15) for more  details and images on this topic. Your son’s Cub Scout group may also like our Healthy Kids section to learn about fruits and vegetables in a fun and interactive way.



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