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Thread: Corn is not a vegetable, but can you prove it?

  1. #1

    Corn is not a vegetable, but can you prove it?

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    I mean, I think technically, botanically speaking, its a fruit. A friend of mine and I are pleasantly debating corn and its "vegginess" I'm trying to tell her that its not, that it behaves in your system like a grain. She's a Ph.D and would be better convinced with some data. Anyone have any out there I can point her to that's conclusive? When googling, I get, "Its all 3, veggie, fruit, and grain".

    ~Mickey

  2. #2
    It is a grain. It is the seed of a giant grass. As with other members of the grass family, corn is a monocot (only one cotyledon or seed leaf). Read up on it here:

    http://academics.hamilton.edu/foodfo...files/corn.pdf
    Last edited by Acmebike; 06-21-2010 at 10:18 AM.

  3. #3
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    Pardon my relying on wikipedia for all of this, but it's quick and easy. =P

    All grains are technically fruits or seeds from fruits... they're just dry fruits, from grass plants. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caryopsis

    Corn is the fruit of a grass plant, so it would certainly fit into the "grain" category. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maize

  4. #4
    Thanks guys, I knew I could count on you!

  5. #5
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    Fruit is usually what surrounds seeds (or a seed), in order to provide some incentive for animals to eat the fruit and thus distribute the seed. That's also the major reason why seeds are indigestible for most animals, but fruits are not. I don't think that you could say that seeds are dried fruits ... rather, it's what remains of fruits when the edible parts are removed or rot away (if they aren't eaten by humans or animals).

    So by that logic corn is not a fruit, since the whole thing is the seed and not supposed to be eaten by animals (from the viewpoint of the plant). It's this "not supposed to be eaten by animals" part that can make seeds/grains bad for us, since plants enforce that by means of poisons.

  6. #6
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    Trippy.

    Here I thought it was a grain.

  7. #7
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    And actually it says on the wikipedia page that the cob is the fruit, with that which we call corn attached to it and referred to as seeds or grains in the text. :-)

  8. #8
    'Vegetable' is not a botanical category. It's a culinary one. (That's why a tomato is both a fruit and a vegetable.) Unfortunately the word 'fruit' is used for both a botanical category and a culinary one, both of which overlap but don't refer to the exact same class of entities. So people think of "fruit vs. vegetables" culinarily, confuse that with a botanical distinction, and get themselves in a pickle when discussing things like nutrition. Anyway, some fruits are vegetables, some vegetables are fruits, not all vegetables are fruits, and not all fruits are vegetables.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jengatron View Post
    'Vegetable' is not a botanical category. It's a culinary one. (That's why a tomato is both a fruit and a vegetable.) Unfortunately the word 'fruit' is used for both a botanical category and a culinary one, both of which overlap but don't refer to the exact same class of entities. So people think of "fruit vs. vegetables" culinarily, confuse that with a botanical distinction, and get themselves in a pickle when discussing things like nutrition. Anyway, some fruits are vegetables, some vegetables are fruits, not all vegetables are fruits, and not all fruits are vegetables.
    I love this ^, it makes my spyrographic thought patterns just purr....

    Buzzy

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