Tomatoes are Fruit

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Are tomatoes a vegetable or fruit? The question caused a 10-year dispute over the 1883 U.S. import tax imposed on vegetables, but not on fruits. In 1893, the Supreme Court ruled, “Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as cucumbers, squash, and peas, but in the common language of the people… all these are vegetables.” The import tax was then applied to tomatoes. The Tariff Act of 1883 was later abandoned, but by U.S. law tomatoes remain a vegetable.

Botanically, tomatoes Solanum lycopersicum are a low-sugar berry. Culinary uses are that of a vegetable for salads, sauces, and side dishes. In canning, tomatoes are handled as fruit. Tomato’s high acid content allows them to be canned without using high temperatures necessary for low acid food.


The red color of tomatoes is the potent antioxidant carotenoid, lycopene. Tomatoes are a rich source of this valuable phytonutrient. The benefits of lycopene are increased 400% when tomatoes are cooked. Additionally, lycopene is fat soluble and cooking tomatoes with a small amount of vegetable oil, as when making spaghetti sauce, multiplies lycopene’s absorption and substantially increases its delivery of benefits. The importance of antioxidants is a fairly recent understanding, and lycopene is an exceptionally potent one.

5th Generation Organic

EDEN Tomatoes are fifth generation Italian family, organically grown heirloom Napoli and Roma plum tomatoes. These vintage varieties, the best for making sauces, combined with decades of work nourishing healthy living soil, results in better taste and nutrition. Hand-harvested, they go at once to nearby processing where they are skinned with steam and brushes instead of the commercial use of lye. Fully ripened and quickly cooked after hand-harvest, EDEN tomatoes taste remarkably better, are sweeter and more nourishing.

Some EDEN Tomatoes are made with authentic organic herbs and spices. Some have no salt added and are very low sodium. EDEN Crushed Tomatoes with Onion, Garlic & Basil, Spaghetti Sauce, and Pizza Pasta Sauce have a small amount of EDEN Portuguese Sea Salt added. The bright taste of organic EDEN heirloom tomatoes shines and indicates their nutritional richness.

Chefs Prefer Plum Tomatoes

There are thousands of tomato varieties in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Most have culinary appeal and usefulness. The five main types are Globe for regular-size slices, Beefsteak for large slices, heart-shaped Oxheart, Mini-Cherry, and Plum Tomatoes. Plum tomatoes are oblong, sweet, have deeper color (more lycopene), less seed, and lower moisture than the other varieties. Universally, chefs prefer Plum Tomatoes. Firmer flesh, rich taste, and fewer seeds make better sauce, and are superior for canning and making tomato paste.

Taste vs. Crop Yield

Tomato taste and crop yields vary from one variety to another. Healthy soil is key to nutritious, good tasting tomatoes. Growing methods and care in the field make a big difference, as does post-harvest handling.

Commercial tomatoes are modern hybrids. They do not taste near as good as an authentic organic heirloom choice. Tomatoes bred for high yield, uniformity, and low cost are greatly diminished in taste. Heirlooms generally yield fewer tomatoes, concentrating taste and nutrition. EDEN heirlooms ripen on the vine. Supermarket tomatoes are picked when green and ethylene gas ripened. This does not allow sugaring and taste development. How a tomato is grown, ripened, and handled greatly influences appeal and value.

BPA, BPS & Phthalate Free

EDEN amber glass jar tomatoes and sauces are the only brand in the U.S. using protective amber glass to prevent light damage of nutrients and flavor. Amber glass best protects these values. Some organic EDEN tomatoes and sauce also come in BPA, BPS, and phthalate free cans designed for high-acid tomatoes. Both are Gluten Free and kosher

A Principled Natural Food Company

What principles? Macrobiotic principles have guided Eden Foods since its beginning in the late nineteen-sixties. Understanding and appreciation of them have grown over 54 years. The principles continue to be used to evaluate and test ideas for their soundness.

Translating these principles to dietary preferences leads to a fundamental conclusion that pure whole grain being the majority (at least a significant part) of one’s diet is the goal. That done, most everything else will take care of itself at all levels; personal, mental, physical, emotional, societal, economic, political, spiritual, environmental, and interpersonal.

Improved insight and judgment result.

Transition from commercial American food to a healthy diet based around whole grain is no simple task, but it is a basic necessity to accomplish freedom, harmony, and nourish intuition. It does require a focused persistence. Considerable experience and knowledge about food, its uses, and benefits are available to help those wishing to make that transition.