Monday, July 20, 2009

I Hate Mushy Peaches

Grown to Be Seen ... NOT Eaten

Have you ever had the unpleasant experience of biting into a delicious-looking peach, such as these, and ending up with a mouth full of tasteless mush? Well, I have, and it has happened one too many times for me. My latest experience comes from South Carolina peaches that I purchased yesterday at a boutique or upscale grocer in my neighborhood. In the past I've had good experiences purchasing fresh fruit there, but now it seems they have begun marketing mushy fruit too.

Three years ago when I first blogged about my disgust at purchasing mushy peaches, I asked America's grocers and fruit growers why they hoodwink American consumers into purchasing their picture-perfect fruit, such as these peaches, when the fruit is unfit for human consumption.

Mushy Peaches , 2 September 2006 - 3 Photos

I photographed the peaches to show their beautiful appearance before I flushed them down the garbage disposal. These peach beauties were home-grown. They spent months in orchard sunshine, precious Arab fuel was expended to take them to market, a customer spent hard-earned dollars to purchase them from a grocery store, and then they were sent down the drain, as they were too mushy and tasteless for human consumption.

At that time I received an email from a peach grower who told me I was being unfair to blame mealy peaches on the fruit growers, as he explained that the peaches are perfect when shipped from the orchards, but are damaged by being transported or stored at cold temperatures. He wrote that growers refer to this mealiness condition as “internal breakdown” and that it is the result of improper handling after the fruit leaves the orchard’s facility.

When fruit leaves the grower’s cold storage it travels in refrigerated vans, is unloaded to a retailers’ warehouses, sent to stores’ back rooms, placed upon store shelves, before being purchased by consumers. At any one of these points, if the fruit is subjected for too long to temperatures in the range of 36-46F, which growers dub the Killing Zone, there will be internal breakdown. Because the grower has no control over the fruit once it leaves his facility, he questioned whether growers deserve my bad publicity for as he claimed, “We do not ship mealy fruit.” Well, it was not my fault, as I never place fresh peaches in the refrigerator.

What infuriates me so much, is that when I as a consumer purchase pears and peaches, I cannot tell by their appearance that they have already been ruined for human consumption. The grocer obviously knows that they have, for he or she can taste-test samples. Yet grocers sell them anyway.


Lisa Brownn said...

I whole heartedly agree! And I have just trashed a half dozen georgeous peaches because they taste like $%#)&!.

Guess the only solution is to buy your peaches at farmers markets and road-side stands - so here in Toronto - peaches only from August to October.

Anonymous said...

Mushy peaches are Obama's fault.

Anonymous said...

Buying peaches at a farmers' market is socialism.

iburnbooks said...

Yup. I did a google search for "why are my peaches mushy". Your blog came up! Now I don't feel so bad for trashing some of these peaches . . . I think all the excess produce is coming through the grocery stores because of drought conditions farmers are harvesting their crops ?

Unknown said...

Thank goodness. At least, I'm not the only person that notices this and am totally fed up with it! These peaches are awful. Within the last 10 years, there may have been 1 year when I had decent peaches, but I keep trying because, as you said, they look so good you think they have to taste good. When I was growing up, peaches were good. If its the fault of the refrigeration process, they need to just go back to whatever they were doing 20 years ago. Yesterday, I bought 2 peaches (which cost almost a dollar apiece on sale). Guess what!! MUSHY.

Unknown said...

Don't trash them. I salvage my hard earneded dollars by popping them in a ziplock then into the freezer. When my bananas get the brown spots, I peel them an do the same. Throw them into a fruits smoothie. I take almond milk, a peach, banana, fresh strawberries or frozen, a little honey and blend. Create your own thing if you're not into the almond milk. You can use things like rregular milk, juice, ice cream, or even water with a sweetener or none at all. The soft fruit can still be used.