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Ampalaya is a FRUIT!

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Ampalaya (Bitter Melon/Bitter TRUTH: Ampalaya (Bitter Gourd/Bitter Melon) is a FRUIT, NOT a vegetable. Gourd) is a fruit, not a vegetable. This is what we have learned in our  Biology 1 class yesterday that drew the attention of everybody. Before, I only knew tomato as a fruit that is thought to be vegetable. No one until yesterday has corrected me that Ampalaya is not a vegetable. Since Kindergarten, it is taught to us as a vegetable.


Fruit vs. Vegetable

To clarify, our Biology teacher, Ms. Eukene Oporto, gave distinction between a fruit and a vegetable. A fruit, she said, is a product of fertilization of plants. It is the edible part, specifically, the ripened ovaries of flowering plants. Another distinction is that it contains seeds.

On the other hand, a vegetable is a herbaceous plant (plant that has leaves and stem) cultivated for its edible part [1] excluding the fruit for some plants. This includes potato (tuber), kangkong (leaves), and broccoli (flower).


Brief History

According to our teacher, the dilemma of misconceiving certain fruits as vegetables sprouted long time ago when people are not yet scientific like we are now. To them, any edible plant that needs to be cooked as a part of a meal’s main course are vegetables and those that can just be eaten directly as for dessert or snacks are fruits.

Moroever, according to a site named Diffen, “the definition is traditional rather than scientific, so the usage of the word is somewhat arbitrary and subjective, as it is determined by individual cultural customs.” [1]


The Need to Correct

Meanwhile, Ms. Oporto stressed that despite the cultural factor, these things need to be corrected to avoid confusion as it is also the truth.

Engr. Atanacio Almocera, a scientist and a Physics professor in University of the Philippines Cebu College, also emphasized in our Physics class last year that there are concepts taught in basic education that are misleading. Hence, he said that it is our duty as “Iskolar ng Bayan” (Scholars of the Nation) to educate the people with the right concepts. He added that this can be done in several methods; the more creative, the more effective just like what we did in his class where we produced instructional videos.


Now that we know Ampalaya is indeed a fruit, how about Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera)? How about Baguio beans? ^^,



[1] For more info especially a list of other fruits that are thought to be vegetables, here’s the link: http://www.diffen.com/difference/Fruit_vs_Vegetable


Author: pchan_august

Juris Doctor (Law) Graduate. Iskolar ng Bayan. Activist. Environmentalist. Frustrated Singer, Poet and Writer. Computer Enthusiast. Servant of the Masses. God's Servant.

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