Contrary to a once-popular belief, eating eggplant does not cause insanity. Eggplant, once referred to as “mala insane” or the raging apple, was thought to cause a host of ailments. Grown first in India and Pakistan 4,000 years ago, eggplants are members of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. Thomas Jefferson loved his vegetables. Disregarding the eggplant’s bad reputation, he introduced it into his Monticello garden.