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Vegetables Don’t Exist

Vegetables don’t exist, and our mindset of what vegetables are and their benefits can be harmful.

Vegetables don’t exist. You may be thinking, “How can vegetables not exist? I eat and cook with them every day.” Well, the term “vegetable” is only significant in the culinary sense and this broad word tends to cause confusion. Biologically, vegetables aren’t a real thing; they don’t have a scientific definition. Therefore, vegetables don’t exist.
Peppers are fruits. Broccoli is a flower. Potatoes are tubers. Dictionary.com defines a vegetable as, “any plant whose fruit, seeds, roots, tubers, bulbs, stems, leaves, or flower parts are used as food…” The word “vegetable” is imprinted in our brains because in our daily life, we don’t think in scientific terms, and, quite frankly, we don’t really need to. So why is this important? What is the point in this article? The mindset of people these days, especially surrounding the topic of food, has changed significantly because of social media.
Whether it is Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook, or any other form of social media, you are always being exposed to an influencer’s opinion, which anyone can be susceptible to. Vegetables are often marketed as healthy for you, and they are, but social media lacks the specificity necessary to truly gain the benefits. “The vitamins found in the vegetable can help promote overall eye health.”(Gaileyeyeclinic.com). But according to PharmEasy, “Tomatoes are a particularly good source of two all-star antioxidants: lycopene and beta-carotene. These are essential to protect brain cells and prevent damage.” These both support very different parts of your body, but for some reason they are both put in the same category as “healthy”. While this is true, they still do very different things, which makes it difficult to understand the various benefits of vegetables.
Now, you may be wondering, if vegetables don’t exist, than wouldn’t that mean that fruits aren’t real either? Well, fruits have a scientific term, unlike vegetables which only have a culinary definition. As a matter of fact, fruits are classified as “the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts.” (Dictionary.com) Fruits also have many benefits, but this category is still much more specific than “the edible part of such a plant” (Dictionary.com) or listing multiple different types of vegetables.
In short, while vegetables exist in cooking, they are only an idea, and there isn’t a biological connection between the foods. Hence, this term is harmful to our mindset.

Works Cited
O’Shields, Charlie. “Vegetables Don’t Exist.” Doodlewash, 25 September 2019, https://doodlewash.com/vegetables-dont-exist/ Accessed 3 May 2024.
“VEGETABLE Definition & Meaning.” Dictionary.com, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/vegetable Accessed 3 May 2024.

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  • M

    Mrs. BartholomewMay 16, 2024 at 9:43 am

    Interesting article, Ella! It is well written and very thought provoking.

    I am not sure you have convinced me that vegetables are only an idea (outside the culinary world) …..but you have made me pause to contemplate what constitutes healthy eating.