It doesn’t need a sophisticated study… Sell something that is properly grown for taste and not appearance, and the consumption (and profits) will increase. The decline in consumption is a result of continous cheating of customers by selling stuff that looks shiny and attractive with no or even with bad taste. I lived in Indiana and upstate NY for a combined 10 years, and only bought stone fruits (except for cherries) a handful of times. I only started buying them after moving to DE and started having access to locally grown peaches/nectarines, which even though don’t compare to backyard grown ones, but are way better than supermarket stuff.
I never liked peaches til I tried one from a roadside stand in South Carolina. Luckily, there are local PYO here in CT so we have a source of the good stuff.
totally concur with penn state’s analysis. Peaches, like many fruits, can be inconsistent in quality depending on regions and weather conditions they are grown. And as mentioned by the article, imported mangos and other tropicals have been getting incredibly more affordable the past decade.
while that is a good thing, diversifying americans’ fruit vocabulary, it is conversely a bad trend since it threatens the livelihood of local fruit-growers in most of continental usa. Diseases and pests/ cost of production of peaches add to the threat vs. affordable and better-quality competition.
There is also the decline in expendable income, especially for young workers starting a family. With both parents working and frequent meals at McDonald’s the focus is not on balanced meals. Fruit is expensive in terms of calories per buck.
Of course, the poor quality of much of what is offered is just as important, but more demand might improve the quality. In many parts of the country, farmer’s markets offer it.
But if your palate has been raised on sugar saturated industrial food your sweet tooth is being served elsewhere. Have another Coke.
The fruit industry doesn’t offer all those sexy and exciting advertisements that children begin to see before they can even talk.
Middle and upper middle class families have shifted heavily away from that stuff, and for the families that haven’t chosen healthier options many of those same people have made a real effort to pressure McDonald’s and the others to adopt “healthier” options. The Happy Meal sides can now be apple slices or yogurt, and real juice or milk is a drink option. When I was a kid the “juice” option for Happy Meals was Hi-C.
Slowly but surely food quality is improving, and people are looking for healthier and more local options. The nation simply stopped gardening and stopped eating local a couple of generations ago, so the young people who are picking it up now have to learn the hard way (on their own, vs the knowledge being handed down to them). That, and the supply chains that used to exist for locally sourced just aren’t what they used to be.
When we have a solid national drop in obesity and diabetes I will believe that, has there been substantial improvement with these issues lately in the middle class?
Apple slices may be available, but they aren’t very exciting. Tree ripe peaches, plums and melons would probably be more popular with kids.
Obesity rates are high. Well not going up anyway. Compared to 10 years ago, the trend is moving in the right direction. We will see if it continues…
I agree but clearly there is enough expendable income to allow for the growing demand in mangoes and avocado. I can usually find decent tasting pears, plums, oranges, etc. at the grocery store but for some reason peaches are all just awful. Same thing with cantaloupes.
Tree ripe peaches, plums and melons would probably be more popular with kids.
Not easily scalable for a nationwide menu.
I’ve never had a plum I’ve liked. I guess I should probably try them next year when the local PYO has them.
If plums aren’t sugar sweet they are still green. That is how they are usually sold- mouth puckering tart.
same here. my 1st good peach was at a roadside stand when i was stationed in N.M. then a friend brought some up from MD. its been nearly 10yrs. since I’ve had a good one.
I looked up plums here just now and saw ya thread you were in, where you recommended Shiro as the mother plant for people in our general zone. I’ll have to try some plums this fall. They might wind up on my buy list next winter.
Just know that I don’t recommend the fruit of Shiro. It can be good if conditions are right (usually meaning dry), even very good, but more often than not it is watery and bland compared to other J. plums I grow. But it is tough, a reliable cropper and vigorous with a spreading growth habit, and on Myro, the perfect mother tree.
Does anyone have any experience juicing peaches and canning or freezing the juice? Just asking because when we make peach wine the juice sure is tasty before we ferment (and hopefully tasty afterwards too).
I make a peach sauce that is great on ice cream or just plain in a bowl so the thought occurred to me “why not peach juice”? We just got a cider press last fall and did 18 gallons of cider in one pressing. I was just thinking perhaps I could press really ripe peaches and freeze/can the juice? Or would it discolor real quick once thawed?
Here in Western PA, the only store bought peaches that are usually worth getting are when the store advertises they are "Chambersburg peaches’, the peaches grown a few hour drive east of here. Peaches grown in SC and GA are occasionally edible, and those from CA are almost always hard and unsweet, until they get brown in the flesh and are mush. Those CA peaches will rarely ripen here, so I suspect they are picked too green.
The local road side markets and the local consumers both know that the ‘Chambersburg peaches’ are better quality, they appear to sell out faster and are often bought in quantity for canning.
Sometimes I buy CA peaches before my trees are producing and they can be good if they are sold at a premium as "tree ripened " fruit at high-end stores. However, it seems like the few times I eat later fruit from there it is often cooked on the tree and has a mushy texture.
They used to grow their stonefruit closer to the coast, but that land is now too valuable. I suspect that in low humidity, temps above 100 destroy the texture of peaches, so the spring ripened ones tend to be better.