Vegetables have become such a huge part of our daily meals that we cannot have some of our meals without them. Here are three fun facts about vegetables that you probably didn’t know about:
1. Tomato Is Botanically A Fruit But Legally A Vegetable:
By definition, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant while vegetables are other plant parts such as roots, leaves, and stems. Based on this, a lot of what we consider vegetables (such as cucumber, avocado, eggplant, okra, and even pepper) are actually fruits. However, even though tomatoes fit into the definition of a fruit, legally, tomatoes are vegetables.
In the late 1800s, the Congress passed a tariff act that imposed a 10% tax on whole vegetables. Vegetable merchants used to bring in tomatoes and not pay the tariff, on the basis that tomatoes were fruits. They took the case to court and in the end, the Supreme Court ruled tomato as a vegetable in 1893. They made this decision based on the culinary application of the food.
Many people backed this argument because despite being a fruit, we eat tomatoes like vegetables.
2. Eating Too Many Carrots Can Turn Your Skin Orange:
This seems like something you would tell a kid who was eating too many carrots so they’d stop but it is actually a fact. Eating too many carrots can turn your skin orange and here’s why.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a natural pigment which is responsible for the vegetable’s orange color. When you eat too many carrots (or pumpkins or any other food high in carotene), the excess beta-carotene will enter your bloodstream and be stored under your skin. This will cause your skin to have a yellow or orange sort of tint. Medically, this condition is known as carotenemia.
Now for the question of how many carrots is too many? Well, that differs based on individuals but the average healthy dosage of beta-carotene is 6 – 8 milligrams. Therefore continuously going above that limit for a long period can be too many carrots.
3. Tomatoes Win The Popularity Contest:
If I asked you to name the most popular vegetable, you’d probably think of onions or other vegetables you use in your everyday meal. However, tomatoes actually take the prize.
Be it a fruit or a vegetable, tomatoes are actually the most consumed food in the world. About 177 million metric tons of tomatoes are produced yearly in the world. The three largest producers of the food are China, India, and the United States.
Tomatoes are so popular that there is an entire festival around them called “La Tomatina.” The festival is held every last Wednesday of August in a town called Buñol ( in Valencia). It involves the participants throwing tomatoes at each other and getting into tomato fights, all for entertainment purposes.
Do you know any more fun facts about vegetables? Share it with us in the comment section.