If you could be any fruit or vegetable…

…what would you be and why? – This is the FoodCorps question. While at first this question seems simple and fun, anyone trying to answer it would recognize that it is so much deeper than that. Your answer becomes window into your soul. It speaks to your character and your values, your integrity and your work ethic. To answer the question, one must spend time deep in thought and self-reflection. It is not a question to be taken lightly.

The third-fifth grade students at Bayyari Elementary School in Springdale, Arkansas knew that when they were applying to be in the afterschool Garden and Cooking Club, it was quite a highly competitive endeavor. If you could be any fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why? It was the third and very last question on the extensive application; the most important question, the deciding factor. The pressure was on. As I read through the applications, I knew immediately that I was going to have to make some tough decisions. I read the first application:

I would be a banana because I could picture someone eating a banana and say this banana tastes good.

A student with the ability to envision themselves in a tough situation in a positive light! That’s exactly what we need! I continue reading..

An apple because they grow on trees and I like to climb trees.

So simple, yet so insightful! Intelligent and playful. How can I say no?

I would rather be both because to make people more healthy.

Best of both worlds, brilliant! Even though they didn’t quite understand the question…

Carrot -> because I can feed the bunnys

Self-sacrificing for the betterment of others. Now that’s what I call service! I keep reading…

Orange because it’s good and it’s the best.

Straight to the point. Love it.

Strawberry because that is my faveite friut and is the perfect shape and it taste good.

Again, straight to the point, honest and blunt. They have no doubts whatsoever.

Baanay becus on gumball thars a funny baanay.

I’m not sure what they’re trying to say, but I’m thoroughly impressed by their effort. These answers are brilliant. And they keep coming…

I would be a carret because we can stand up and roll over.

Literal and practical. This child knows what is important in life. Only a few applications left…

A grape because then I would be purple.

The answer of a truly awesome kid. Can it be topped?!

I would be kale because I could give eyesight to the blind.

I have no comment. My heart is melted.

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While these answers are just about as sweet as it gets, I still hold true to my dramatic claim that the answers to the fruit and vegetable question are a window into one’s soul, even a child’s. For me, reading these reminded me of the pure and lovely innocence of children, reinvigorating my passion to help give them what they need to grow up healthy.

To keep you from tossing and turning at night, I will end the suspense and share with you who made it into the Garden and Cooking Club: everyone who applied, of course, despite having to accept more than we have space for.

If YOU were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why?