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Are potatoes vegetables

January 9, 2017

Yesterday my daughter Rosalind asked me if potatoes were vegetables. The following dialogue ensued:

ME: What?

ROS: Are potatoes vegetables?

ME: Well, what do you think?

ROS: I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking.

ME: Of course they’re vegetables. What else could they be?

ROS: I don’t know.

ME: Well, they’re not animals, are they?

ROS: There’s other things besides vegetables and animals, it could be one of them.

ME: Like what?

ROS: I don’t know, that’s why I was asking.

Obviously potatoes are vegetables. They grow in the ground. You buy them in greengrocers or in the vegetables sections of supermarkets. Yet Ros is not alone in her uncertainty. Quite a number of people don’t see potatoes as vegetables. Why? Is it because they don’t much like vegetables in general, but they do like chips, so they think there must be another category for them? But to be fair to Ros, she does like vegetables in general. She loves them. In fact she is doing Veganuary. So I just don’t get it.

And let me add another, completely unrelated thing. During the time of the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage there was a Roman senator, Cato the Elder, who used to finish every speech, on no matter what subject, even if it was about collecting the bins or something, with the line Et Carthagio delenda est (‘And Carthage should be destroyed’). It was a monomania. And right now I have a monomania of my own. I’m like Cato the Elder. Every post I put up, on whatever subject, will end with me saying “Please help to crowdfund my YA novel The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers – here is the link: https://unbound.com/books/adam-gowers ”.

So here goes: please help to crowdfund my YA novel The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers – here is the link: https://unbound.com/books/adam-gowers .

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