Vegetables Don’t Exist

Vegetables Are Fruits Berries Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Vegetables” today, I chose some of my favorites to sketch. Yet, actually, in botanical terms, these are are collection of fruits and berries. Yep, the avocado is actually a berry, along with a banana. And most of us have stumbled upon the fact that a tomato is technically a fruit as well. I’ve mentioned these bits of trivia before when I’ve sketched these types of foods, because I find it all very interesting. But, there’s something even more intriguing to the story. In truth, the term “vegetable” doesn’t exist in botanical terminology. When it come this particular classification, it’s solely a culinary term. So while we can put up a scorecard for which side gets to claim a “fruit” there’s no such thing when it comes to a “vegetable.” Biologically speaking, vegetables don’t exist. This is most likely why the rest of us stick to the culinary thinking. It’s easier to define something by the way you eat it than worrying over the science of it all. Yet, these are the things that make our world so interesting and fun! Nothing is ever as it seems. There’s always more to the story.

When I was a kid, I would always want to learn all I could about everything. This was in a time when the Internet didn’t exist so the only way to learn something new was to visit the library or crack open an encyclopedia. I remember there was a door-to-door salesman once who wanted to sell us a complete set of encyclopedias and I begged my mother to get them. I only now realize that they cost quite a bit for the time and yet, she obliged and got me the entire set. I was in heaven. It was like I had all of the answers to all of the great questions in life sitting on the shelf in front of me. These days, of course, we can simply google it. Type a question and the answers reveal themselves almost immediately. The difference, of course, is that the answers are no longer highly curated by human editors and instead offered up by robots. While my inner child thinks that robots are perfectly awesome and amazing, my adult brain has to question the validity of these answers a bit. In many cases, the first few listings are more sensational than perfectly accurate. Very much like the title of this particular post. Today, rather than having answers carefully vetted, we instead, get them through popularity algorithms.

Yes, we now live in a world where you don’t have to be right so much as the most popular. In other words, we’re now all living in a global cyber high school. It’s not that the robots aren’t clever enough to figure out the real facts from the false, it’s just that the robots make more money for their masters by promoting popularity. While I adore the Internet for its ability to connect all of us together, this trend is a bit alarming. While one might think an encyclopedia is something archaic in this day and age, the human element still makes it far superior. There’s a level of judgement that humans offer up, that machines have yet to replicate exactly. That’s why I adore art. It’s so purely human. Decisions made about what to paint and what color to use that day are incredibly unique to each of us. There’s often very little discernible rhyme or reason to the process. Yet, the process comes with something incredibly special. That amazing gift of feeling actual surprise. Seeing something appear that one never expected in the process. That’s the beauty of art and creativity, which is still very much the domain of human beings. This is a fabulous thing indeed, even when our words confuse us and can make it quite possible that vegetables don’t exist.

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Vegetables Are Fruits Berries Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Karen Fortier 3 years ago

    Great fruits Charlie! 😉😂 Telling my husband a tomato is a fruit won’t help as he isn’t much better at eating fruits than he is veggies. I keep trying.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Lol! Too funny! In my head I’m thinking… what does he eat??? I eat mostly vegetables and fruit!

      • Karen Fortier 3 years ago

        That is a great question Charlie as I eat a lot of fruits and veggies. 🤔

  2. Sandra Strait 3 years ago

    Your commentary on vegetables makes me think of a line from the Big Bang Theory’It is a little wrong to say a tomato is a vegetable, it is very wrong to say it is a suspension bridge’. This was in response to a statement that something was either wrong or right and it was incorrect to qualify it. As with many things, there is some truth in both statements. In other words, truth is a tricky subject. I agree about that the way algorithms are controlling truth these days is very frightening. But information is power, so there is always someone(s) controlling it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      That’s a great line from Big Bang Theory! 😃💕 Yeah, so many things are simultaneously true and false. And I do hope that truly useful and valuable human information wins against the mighty algorithm. 😉

  3. LoriCtoo 3 years ago

    I love it when the grocery store has a beautiful display of all the colored peppers. This sketch reminds me of that. So vibrant!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lori! 😃💕 Me too! I adore this time of year and seeing all the displays of food. It also makes me very hungry! lol

  4. Lisa 3 years ago

    Why do we need libraries now that we have the internet and google? I heard that too many times to count when I was a library director. As a librarian I was taught to give people the right answer, not the most popular, or sensational answer. It was interesting how many politicians were ready to dump public libraries in favor of Google! Makes me wonder where DT stands in that question.😂😂😂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      haha! Too true, Lisa! 😃💕 Yeah, it’s getting more and more ridiculous. I miss my librarian!! I trusted her more to get to to a correct answer.

  5. Lisa Ann Ulibarri 3 years ago

    Fabulous fruits and veggies. I never knew that about veggies thanks for the info 🙂 I am a big fan of public libraries still and the one where I live is actually expanding. They have story times for the kids and even cool art events and yes the books!!! 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕 Yay to library expansion… that makes me SO happy to hear! My first published book for kids was an allegory about the library. It was my favorite place growing up!

  6. Sharon Nolfi 3 years ago

    Like you, I loved encyclopedias as a child! I had my old set until a few years ago – that’s how much I loved it. Admittedly, research is much easier to do today, but I still miss the feel and smell of those big books.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Yeah, I loved those books! They were just so cool! 😃💕 I don’t have my set anymore either.

  7. Ariel Blocker 3 years ago

    Absolutely love this one, Charlie. And the accompanying text of the post too. Great way to stat my day!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Ariel! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoyed this and I could start you day off with a smile!

  8. Fatima Chamkha 3 years ago

    Lovely vegs and colorful play Charlie!!

  9. Mary Roff 3 years ago

    Wonderful veggies/fruit! The colors say Autumn and are beautiful! We didn’t have a full set of the encyclopedia but somewhere picked up one volume which I remember being an annual yearbook type addition to the encyclopedia…don’t even remember what year it was but it was old when I got it and I practically wore it out reading it.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks so much, Mary! 😃💕 Aww I loved those volumes like that!! They are SO much fun to go through!!

  10. Loan Anh Pham 3 years ago

    I love your lovely sketch and I love avocado, too.

  11. Robert J. Coleman 3 years ago

    Beautiful sketch of a meal about to be prepared! And i join you in the praises for good ole’ Britannica. I still have a set but they are in storage locker – I really miss them. We shouldn’t trust an algorithm to give us a correct answer whether on a technical question, or what to draw or what color one should use. The beauty of art is its creative nature, in the human mind or the amazing way watercolor can behave. Like it has its own mind!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      Thanks, Bob! 😃💕 And so true! I think we’re always more creative when we flip through the pages of our own minds and see what interesting things pop up there!

  12. Bonnie Ottaviani 3 years ago

    Avocado is my absolute favorite! Great sketch and painting.

  13. smzang 3 years ago

    Charlie says, “Today, rather than having answers carefully vetted, we instead, get them through popularity algorithms.”

    I’m thinking politics …

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 years ago

      hehe… so many things that shouldn’t be controlled by algorithms are these days. It’s a tad worrisome. 😉

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