Legal Precedence Trumps Fact

The New Jersey legislature obviously has more lawyers and administrators than technical editors, since it seems likely to recognize the tomato as the official state vegetable: State Tomato Debate May Prove Fruitful. Read the senate bill S1588, currently referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

I tried to discover the bill that declared the apple the official fruit of the state of Washington, but it seems that happened too long ago to be on line. However, I did find the chapter in the Revised Code of Washington that specifies the official state nouns: flower, fruit, bird, fossil (not Slade Gorton), song, dance, tartan… there’s no vegetable, but there is a grass.

Author: Gary

Writer and editor living in Seattle.

One thought on “Legal Precedence Trumps Fact”

  1. This week’s New Yorker has a good “Talk of the Town” piece on this. Those interviewed aseerted that the tomato is a vegetable bc it’s eaten like a veg – which makes sense, to me. An organized group of fourth-graders kept tomatoes from becoming the state veg. in 2003 (they were the “surprisingly fierce blueberry lobby,” according to the New Yorker, and they won the “Trenton Fruit Showdown of 2003”, but not for long, apparently. This year it’s Tomatoes v. Sweetcorn, and the tomatoes have an 1893 supreme court opinion on their side, asserting that tomatoes “whether baked or boiled, or forming the basis of soup, are used as vegetables, as well when ripe as when green.”

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