An avocado is classified as a fruit.
Avocadoes grow on trees that are native to Central and South America, but can also be found in southern Florida.
There are three main types of avocados: Mexican/West Indian, Guatemalan, and West African. The majority of avocados consumed in the United States are imported from Mexico or Chile Avocado Farmers.
Why are Avocadoes a fruit?
Fruits and vegetables alone only rarely give you enough vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy. It is for this reason food such as avocados are grouped with fruits. But wait! An avocado isn’t like other fruits; it has a lot of healthy fats instead of sugars or starch (like bananas).
Avocado’s belong to a large group of fruit known as drupes which also includes plums, olives, pistachios and other fruits. Drupes are defined by having an outer fleshy part surrounding a shell called endocarp which contains a seed or seeds.
Though most drupes are too hard for humans to eat raw, avocado is soft enough that it can be consumed in its natural state; this makes it easy for humans to digest the flesh and access the nutrients from the seed.
Since avocado is a fruit, it can be eaten raw without cooking it first i.e. in salads, salsas, etc.; despite being botanically defined as a fruit, however, most countries including the United States label avocado as a vegetable because of how they are most commonly consumed (i.e. alongside meals instead of on its own).
Because of these fats, an avocado can be classified as both a fruit and a vegetable depending on the nutritional value. If the nutritional value is high and fat content is low then it can be classified as a vegetable.
When the nutritional value is high and the fat content is then it will be classified as a fruit (i.e., avocado).
There is also one other very clear way to distinguish if an avocado is a fruit or not: it tastes like one.
An article from the Huffington Post claims that “avocados are fruits, but they can be classified as vegetables based on their nutritional value.” They claim this because of the fat content in avocado and how they taste like a vegetable.
This source also supports itself by saying that “it will be classified as a fruit” when its nutritional value is high and the fat content is low.
On top of all of this, there are reasons why avocados are considered fruits according to scientists at the Food & Science section of The States Newsroom.
One scientist claims that “‘fruits are the mature ovaries of plants’…which means they have seeds.” The article also says that “the majority of fruits are fleshy, sweet or sour” which matches with what most people think avocado is.
Another scientist claims that “‘a fruit’s purpose is to attract animals and other organisms to disperse their seeds,'” which makes sense because avocados grow in trees and when people eat them.
This scientist explains how this relates to fruits, vegetables, and avocados by saying “‘when you eat an orange or apple, you’re consuming the plant’s seeds.'” This shows that holding onto the seed (avocado pit) while eating it helps spread the seeds around.
That source supports its argument by explaining how certain things like “the avocado’s flavor, texture and slight ‘fuzziness'” make it a fruit. All of these characteristics match what most people think avocado is like.
List of vitamins and minerals in Avocado
|Amount mg, mcg||% Daily Value (DV)|
|Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid)||1.39 mg||28%|
|Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)||0.26 mg||15%|
|Vitamin K||21 mcg||18%|
|Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)||0.13 mg||10%|
|Vitamin E||2.07 mg||14%|
|Vitamin B-3 (niacin)||1.74 mg||11%|
|Vitamin C||10 mg||11%|
|Vitamin B-1 (thiamine)||0.07 mg||6%|
|Vitamin A||7 mcg||1%|
|Vitamin B-12||0 mcg||–|
|Vitamin D||0 mcg||–|
The seeds and leaves of an avocado tree possess properties that make them useful for several purposes:
- They serve as feeding grounds for various moth larvae such as Litoprosopus Coachella which turn into large silk moths; they also provide shelter for other types of insects such as ants that help control pests like mealybugs and aphids.
- The leaves help control soil erosion since they don’t break down easily; this is important for avocado growers who rely on the existence of nearby forests to prevent their farms from turning into deserts after a single rainfall.
- Avocado seeds and roots serve as food sources for animals such as tapirs, peccaries, squirrels, and mice which in turn provide farmers with meat and manure.
- The root bark helps heal coughs while decoctions made out of the leaves can be used in treating diabetes and dysentery. Despite all these properties, however, most people just use the avocado seed to make castor oil.
Most countries such as Mexico and South Africa use “avocado” while the United States and English-speaking Caribbean nations often use “alligator pear” or simply “avocado.”
Though it used to be called the alligator pear because of its bumpy green skin, today the avocado is known by many names across Latin America; some of these are: aguacate, palta, and bagañao in Spanish; abakua , caupi or su bock in Guarani (the language spoken by Paraguayans); avocaat , koe-pie-toe , avokado and abogado in Dutch (spoken in Suriname).
The reason so many people around the world enjoy eating avocados is partly due to their high nutritional value: they are rich in -fats, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a single cup of avocado has roughly 900 milligrams of potassium which is about 18% of our body’s daily requirements.
Avocados also contain vitamin C, E, and K; thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), and pantothenic acid (also known as vitamin B5). It contains no sodium or cholesterol but it does have some protein and fiber.
So while avocados may be labeled as vegetables by the United States Department of Agriculture because of how most people eat them, they are technically fruits due to their botanical definition which means that they can be eaten raw without cooking them i.e. in salads and salsas, etc.
Whether avocados are fruits or vegetables is a question with no fixed answer: it depends on how you define “fruit” and “vegetable.” Avocado trees produce the fruit which is technically defined as the ovary of a plant so, by definition, an avocado is a fruit.
Avocado Production Worldwide
South Africa followed by Mexico, Peru and Chile are among the leading producers with most production coming from countries in South America. Since 2000, there has been a steady growth of new commercial plantings with an increasing number of countries investing in avocado farming.
Six main types of avocados are commonly produced worldwide. Fuerte is the primary variety grown in California while Hass accounts for 95% of Mexico’s total crop. Other varieties include Bacon, Zutano, Sharwil, Lamb Hass, Gwen, and Pinkerton.
What Does The Law Say?
The US Food And Drug Administration (FDA), regulates whether certain foods are considered to be “fruits”, “vegetables”, or both under Section 21CFR101.95 Label declaration of ingredients which states that all provisions for labeling fresh produce are applicable to fruits and vegetables including the requirement to list whether a food is or isn’t a fruit or vegetable.
This means that while an avocado may be botanically classified as a fruit, it’s considered a vegetable because virtually all edible avocados are eaten by people instead of being consumed on their own.
As for any other fruit or vegetable, if an avocado is dried and/or has added seasonings, FDA guidelines require it to be labeled as “avocado style” then indicate what ingredients were used in order to give consumers the full picture about the product they’re purchasing.
What Is Avocado Danger?
In 2014, California witnessed its first major outbreak of illness related to E. coli bacteria which was traced all the way back to commercially distributed avocados from a single California-based supplier, Bravo Farms.
In the following month, the FDA’s investigation led to a recall of at least one dozen other companies who purchased avocados from Bravo Farms and as a result, only 11 cases out of 24 people infected were reported as being tied directly to the company.
The rest of them were either not linked or couldn’t be traced back to any specific source which means that these individuals didn’t eat pre-packaged salads containing avocado where it was clearly listed as an ingredient.
Food contamination can happen anytime, anywhere: let this serve as a reminder for Americans and citizens around the world to wash their produce thoroughly before eating it; make sure they’ve been kept in proper refrigeration and if in doubt, throw them out.
One important thing to keep in mind is that, according to the FDA’s website, simply cutting away a part of the fruit or vegetable which you think may have been contaminated with pathogens won’t help prevent food poisoning: it’s best to get rid of it completely since even trace amounts could still potentially spread germs from one surface to another.
Is an avocado a fruit or vegetable?
Whatever your answer is, make sure it’s not ambiguous because while there’s no fixed legal rule saying what qualifies as a fruit or vegetable.
Nobody wants any surprises after eating something they didn’t mean to consume.
Is an avocado a fruit or vegetable? By the US FDA’s definition, it is both. But when in doubt, always check with your supplier or farmer about what they grow and how you can consume them safely.