Date: Fri, 22 Mar 1996 18:08:15 -0500
From: "Dale F.Coye" CoyeCFAT[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Re: Asia and tomatoes
The question was raised about the boundaries of Asia and whether Israel is
part of it.
Isn't this like asking whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable?
According to the books maybe Israel is part of Asia, but the whole
continental division notion becomes ludicrous when we talk about the Urals as
a boundary. You may as well call the Rockies the border between two
continents. Maybe there aren't even seven continents. Or maybe there are
geologically but not culturally. As with the tomato there is the technical
answer and the common sense answer. Tomatoes may be the fruit of the tomato
plant, but we eat them in our meals in salads and in other "vegetable" ways.
Since we don't eat them in sweet pies or for dessert or for snacks like
other fruits, they aren't "fruits" in the common meaning of the word any more
than peppers or pinecones are. This really gets to me because I've seen
articles bewailing the fact that only 10 percent of our high school seniors
answered a test question correctly on whether the tomato was a fruit of
vegetable. So if the Israelis want to call themselves Middle easterners, as
far as I'm concerned that's what they are.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching