"The terms used to describe these specializations derive from millennia of common usage and are sometimes at odds with botanical nomenclature. For example, vegetables are described as herbaceous plants of which some portion is eaten raw or cooked during the main part of a meal. Fruits, for horticultural purposes, are described as plants from which a more or less succulent fruit or closely related botanical structure is commonly eaten as a dessert or snack. By these definitions, plants such as tomato, squash and cucumber are considered vegetables despite the fact that the edible portion is defined botanically as a fruit. The delineation of plants by common usage was legally established in 1893 by the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Nix vs. Hedden."It's never occurred to me that plant names could have legal definitions in addition to scientific and colloquial ones, but there you go!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Tomatoes are Vegetables, Legally
The official USDA Definition of Specialty Crops found its way into my mailbox this week.
Labels: law + ethics