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Am I the only one who didn’t know that pumpkins are considered fruit?


Halloween is a big event for most school aged children, but also many adults in these United States along with ghosts, goblins, witches brew and pumpkin ale. Countless numbers of pumpkins will be carved up for this annual celebration. The carved pumpkin has and still is associated with the harvest season, but around 1900, an article on Thanksgiving entertaining recommended a lit jack-o’-lantern as part of the festivities…and somewhere in all of that the pumpkin emerged as an important Halloween symbol.

I’ve eaten my share of pumpkin pie over the years, so imagine how surprised I was to find out that pumpkins are considered a fruit and not a vegetable! Apparently, I am not the only one to have this reaction. And just in case I heard it wrong, I googled this question: Is pumpkin a fruit or vegetable?  Bing quickly returned a number of sources and it appeared that all were calling pumpkin a fruit! R-e-a-l-l-y!

Citing one of the best sources, Good Housekeeping Magazine: According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “Fruit, in its strict botanical sense, [is] the fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a plant, enclosing the seed or seeds.” That definition includes produce popularly thought of as fruit — including apples, bananas, and berries — but it also applies to beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives, avocados, and yes, pumpkin.

Therefore, whether you call it a fruit or a vegetable, that probably won’t change how you use pumpkin(s) today, tomorrow or for many years to come. In the meantime, eat or drink up! Pumpkin is good for you.




About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.


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