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What Makes A Vegetable A Vegetable? [The True Science]

Vegetables are an integral part of our diet for healthy living, but have you ever thought about what exactly makes a vegetable a vegetable?

Generally, the fact about what makes a vegetable a vegetable depends upon personal preference. But, to be a vegetable, the part of the plant must be edible, herbaceous, nutritious, low in sugar, and have a mild, savory flavor that tastes delicious when cooked.

The plant’s leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits must meet certain criteria to be vegetables according to botany, culinary, and law.

So, read this entire article to clear your doubts about the specific criteria that make vegetables actually vegetables.

Vegetable: A Scientific Definition

Usually, we call vegetables the savory part of the plant with a mild taste that tastes delicious after we cook.

But, science or botany defines vegetables as the edible parts of the plant that do not have any reproductive functions. So they do not produce seeds.

Lots of colorful vegetable
To be vegetables, the part of the plants must offer less sweet flavor and be high in nutrition.

Additionally, the non-woody parts of a plant are vegetables, according to the scientific definition.

Thus, scientifically vegetables are the edible, non-reproductive, and herbaceous parts of the plant that function as food storage.

What Makes Vegetable A Vegetable?

What makes vegetables actually vegetables relies on personal preference as there is no fixed definition.

The culinary term defines vegetables as any edible part of a plant having a non-sweet, savoury taste when cooked.

So, culinary includes pumpkin, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and so on as vegetables.

However, according to the scientific definition, the plant’s reproductive parts containing seeds are technically fruits.

In fact, vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, pumpkin, gourds, etc., are actually fruits, according to botany.

Thus, the Culinary term is much more flexible than the scientific one, using the terms fruits and vegetables interchangeably.

Basically, we consume vegetables due to their nutrition, so the edible parts must be rich in nutrients to be vegetables.

Moreover, to be a veggie, the plant’s part must be very low in sugar, fats, and calories, perfect for adding to healthy foods like salads.

Besides other definitions, there are some legal regulations that make some fruits like tomatoes as vegetables due to trade policies.

From Editorial Team


The food storing capacity, richness in nutrition, and bland, savory, delicious taste make vegetables the vegetables.

Moreover, if you only believe in science, the plant’s part mustn’t contain any reproductive part to be a vegetable.

All The Best!