June Produce Feature

Passionate about Peaches

Early in June last year, I joined produce managers from several natural food stores in a tour sponsored by the Organically Grown Company. We visited several farms, orchards, and packing sheds in the Fresno Valley in California. It was hot–between 103° and 105° every day! I learned that most fruiting trees stop ripening at temperatures above 100°-102°. The drought California is experiencing now was beginning then, but the effects weren’t being felt yet. This year, and in years to come, we will see the effect of the drought–in the price of citrus, especially.

It takes dedication and an enduring commitment to grow food without the use of harmful chemical agents or genetically modified seeds. It felt empowering as a retail manager to be part of supporting the livelihood of these farmers. The more organic, local, and fairly-traded food we buy, the more tools they have to build and strengthen the organic movement.

What impressed me the most about these farms was the fact that the laborers come back year after year to work the fields. This is because, unlike corporate farms, they are paid fair, competitive wages. The farms I visited, like Twin Girl Farms and Masumoto Family Farm, support immigration reform laws so these workers, many of them seasonal laborers from Mexico, can better support their families.

Here’s a couple of great Peach Recipes!

Peach Salsa &

Maple-Glazed Grilled Peaches

Nutritional Healing with Peaches

In various chapters in his classic work, Healing With Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford discusses the healing properties of the peach according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), such as these excerpts.

Peaches have a cooling thermal nature and are considered to have sweet-and-sour flavor that builds body fluids, moisturizing the lungs and intestines. They can be used for dry cough and other dry conditions of the lungs and can help relieve high blood pressure.

The kernel inside the peach pit strengthens qi and blood circulation and is an ingredient in many tumor formulations, including those for uterine fibroids.

Peach leaf, taken as a tea, destroys worms.

As a remedy for those with acute (not chronic) gastrointestinal inflammations, peaches can be cooked and puréed.

According to TCM, peaches, although high in Vitamin A, should not be consumed in unlimited amounts by everyone. The acid content and sweet flavor can contribute to the condition known as “dampness,” exacerbated water retention, Candida (yeast) overgrowth, fatigue, sluggishness, and/or emotional heaviness. Those with a tendency toward these conditions should limit their intake of peaches.

In moderation, however, peaches can help stimulate the liver out of a stagnant, or “excess” condition.

Passionate about Peaches
by Kasey Anderson