The Supreme court deemed Tomatoes a “Vegetable”
Like many legal fights, the 1893 Supreme Court case Nix v. Hedden was all about money. At that time, the U.S. government was imposing a 10% tariff on all imported vegetables. Tomato entrepreneur John Nix was hit by the tariff on a shipment of Caribbean tomatoes and decided to protest, filing a lawsuit in 1887 that eventually made its way to the highest court in the land. Unfortunately for Nix, SCOTUS decided that tomatoes were vegetables for legal purposes — even though botany says otherwise. It should be classified a fruit
Source: The Washington Post
The real “Granny Smith” was from England
Maria Ann Smith was born in Sussex, England in 1799 and moved her family to Sydney, Australia in 1838. The official origin of Granny Smith apples is disputed, but it’s believed that around 1868, Maria discarded the remains of some crab apples she used for baking on her property. Later, she was surprised to find a small seedling growing where she had thrown out the seeds. Maria passed away in 1870, but local farmers continued cultivating the apples she discovered, which were added to the Australian government’s official list of fruits for export in 1895 — propelling Granny Smith apples to worldwide popularity.
Source: Australia National University
Strawberries are not actually Berries because their seeds are on the outside.
Believe it or not, those sweet red supermarket staples are not even the fruit of its plant! The things we think of as strawberries are actually “receptacle tissue,” the part that connects the plant’s flower to its stem. When the strawberry plant gets pollinated, that tissue gets red and swollen. Technically speaking, the tiny dried “seeds” on the outside of the strawberry are the actual strawberry fruit.
Source: NC State University
Supermarket apples can be up to one year old
Apples are typically in season from late summer through early winter, but they are available for sale year-round thanks to climate technology. Fruit distributors store apples to be sold later in refrigerated warehouses for anywhere from 3 to 12 months, sometimes also treating them with chemical gases that slow their aging process. These treatments are all approved by food science experts and the Food and Drug Administration — apples won’t stay fresh naturally for more than a few weeks.
The myth that carrots improve your vision is rooted in a propaganda campaign from World War II
When German bombers were attacking London during the 1940 blitzkrieg, local officials mandated a city-wide blackout at night to make it more difficult for the planes to see their targets. The English also had another ace up their sleeve — a brand new radar technology that could locate aircraft from relatively long distances. To keep their invention secret, the government of England launched a propaganda campaign claiming that the Vitamin A in carrots improved night vision, explaining why they could so easily detect Nazi planes. While carrots are good for overall eye health, the idea that eating them improves your vision is largely a myth.
Source: Smithsonian Magazine
Farmers of Cherries sometimes pay helicopter pilots over $1,000 per hour to dry crops
Cherries are highly valuable yet notoriously difficult to grow. During the rainy season, excessive moisture sitting on the developing fruits can cause them to split and swell, rendering them worthless. When the wind isn’t sufficient to dry them off, farmers hire pilots to fly helicopters over crops, drying them off like a giant, airborne blow dryer. The price may seem high, but a single acre of cherries can return $10,000 and the work can be dangerous — pilots have to fly at a relatively low altitude, often during heavy rain.
Apples, Plums and Spirea are related to the “Rose” family
They weren’t always connected, but in 1900, botanical authorities re-classified apples, plums and spirea into the rose family — scientific name Rosaceae. Believe it or not, the family also includes some very un-flower like fruits, including apricots, pears, and almonds. And yes, roses are technically edible — it’s safe to eat their seed pods (known as “hips”) and petals, and they’re popular in teas.
Cranberry fruit is tested for ripeness by seeing if it bounces
A healthy cranberry will develop small air pockets inside, which cause them to bounce when dropped. The first person to notice this phenomenon was John Webb, a New Jersey man credited as the first official cranberry grower in 1840. Webb had a wooden leg that made it difficult to move cranberries up and down stairs, so he dropped them instead. During this process, he noticed that the ones that bounced highest were also the freshest.
Source: New Jersey Government