The Jackson Herald
July 11, 2001
Peach fuzz on the way out?
When I buy peaches, the first thing I look for is a healthy smattering
of fuzz. The fuzz makes the peach. The feel of the fuzz on your
lips, the warm smell of peach orchards hits you right before
the first bite is taken. It brings the simple act of eating to
a new height. Recently, I've visited the local grocery, excited
at the prospect of that first bite of ripe Georgia peach. Yet
there was no fuzz on the round, peach-colored things in the fruit
bins. There were as smooth as apples. I determined it must be
some new fruit and wanting a fuzzy peach, I passed on the newfangled
thing in the grocer's fruit aisle. Fuzzy peaches may just take
a little longer to ripen than their smooth cousins.
But then I heard some disturbing news on AgDay. They reported
that the University of Georgia discovered a way to remove nearly
100 percent of the pesticides from peaches-remove the fuzz. Sacrilegious
bibble babble. If you remove the fuzz, you remove the very essence
of the peach. That would be like removing the box from the turtle.
Or the peanut from the peanut butter. But they're doing it. The
naked peaches are on the store shelves now.
Bobby Lane, a peach grower in Georgia, produces 1,620,000,000
peaches, which he sells to supermarkets. Normally, Lane's peaches
test 500-1,000 times lower than the EPA allows. Its so low that
the pesticide residue nearly goes undetected scientifically.
But UGA scientists found that if Lane uses a large machine to
remove the fuzz, then the low amount of pesticide would be reduced
by 65 percent. A 45-minute bath in chlorinated water and whatever
pesticide remains on the fuzzless peach is reduced by another
A fuzzless peach. It sounds sad. Like eggs that come in a milk
carton or veal meat. It's not as nature intended. I understand
the reasoning behind fuzzless peaches. That part is obvious.
They (meaning scientists and peach growers) want to get close
to an "organic" peach. One that is pesticide-free.
It's a good advertising move. People don't want to eat bug-killer
along with their vitamin C. It just seems that growers and scientists
are going around the fence to arrive at the same point as the
person who opens the gate. First, you grow peaches using pesticides
and manufactured fertilizers. Then, you send your peaches through
a machine that removes the fuzz from your peach. The fuzz which
God in His infinite wisdom placed there. The fuzz which is the
essence of the peach. The fuzz which makes a peach feel like
a peach. And, finally, you bathe your naked, fuzzless peach in
chlorinated water. It's now pesticide-free, but what have you
lost in the process? Are fuzzy peaches doomed to be the next
endangered species? Will I have to explain to my daughter someday
that peaches used to have hair just like a kiwi?
Supermarkets may now be boasting that they carry pesticide-free
peaches, but I can envision a day in the not too distant future
when grocery stores will advertise that they have a limited supply
of fuzzy peaches. The fuzzy ones will probably cost three times
as much as their bald brothers.
What fruit will be the next to be morphed before our very eyes?
Apples or pears are the logical choices. Scientists have already
bred and cross-bred the two so many times that they really are
running out of options. Unless they can devise a way to grow
a bug-resistant Asian Pear, pear and apple skins are on the way
out. It's obvious to me and it will be obvious to UGA scientists.
If you remove the skins, you would remove 100 percent of the
pesticides. Then, scientists just have to find some chemical
to spray on the naked fruit so it doesn't turn brown. They invented
Velcro. It should only take them a week or two to figure this
one out. Then, no one would have to worry about washing their
fruit ever again. Now, what about broccoli?
Rochelle Beckstine is a reporter for MainStreet
The Jackson Herald
July 11, 2001
Rec programs will survive growing pains
As with any venture, the initial stages of the City of Jefferson's
re-entry into the recreation business has met with some resistance.
Just turn to the editorial section of this newspaper for proof.
The fighting between the city recreation board and the Jefferson
Little League Booster Club could have been avoided, but it wasn't.
The question now is not so much how it got to this point, but
rather, where do we go from here?
The answer is simple, though actually carrying it out may not
As the city council's liaison to the rec board and a resident
of the city, councilman Bosie Griffith has every right to attend
the board's meetings. But with Griffith, board president Tim
Pass and department director Suzy Davis all holding positions
of leadership in the recreation picture, both respect and responsibility
Only with a single person serving as the group's icon can the
board gain the respect necessary to get backing from the booster
club and other groups. Under the current situation, it's difficult
to determine who's actually making the decisions.
Now is the time for someone involved to step out of the fray
and make the difficult decisions that will be frowned upon from
both sides. That person should be Davis.
Davis' resume proves she has the professional experience to run
both the recreation department and the board's meetings. That,
plus the fact that she's still new to the area, would make her
a much less polarizing influence at the helm than either Griffith
That's not meant to take away at all from the contributions of
both Griffith and Pass to the recreation programs in Jefferson.
Each of them seems to have the concerns of Jefferson's young
athletes at heart, and each can certainly serve a positive role
once all the initial wrinkles are ironed out.
The largest wrinkle, at least for the moment, is the board's
relationship with the booster club. Rumors and allegations have
flown between the two like mosquitos in the South Georgia twilight,
and that must stop.
As a government agency, the rec board has neither the right nor
the legal power to take possession of property owned by the booster
club, which is a private, non-profit organization. For it to
do so would be a slap in the face of the private ownership rights
protected in the U.S. Constitution.
However, since its role in recreation will now be greatly diminished,
the booster club could choose to donate its holdings to the recreation
department. That's probably the best course of action, but the
friction that currently exists between the two groups makes it
An air of cooperation between Davis and booster club president
Brian Harris seems to exist already, and could flourish if interference
from others were removed. If Harris and Davis are left alone
to talk things out, the board-booster club situation will be
Another problem facing the board is apathy. Apparently, at least
two board members have often found excuses for missing meetings.
This can't continue. If two of five board members are absent
on a regular basis, the board is continually on the verge of
not having a quorum for meetings.
If board members don't live up to their committments, they should
be replaced by the city council, and quickly.
Jefferson's decision to re-enter the recreation business will
pay off handsomely with a strong program in a few years. But
everyone involved must be patient and understand that a few rough
spots are a small but inevitable price to pay for having a sound
Tim Thomas is a reporter for The Jackson Herald. He may be
reached at the sports desk at (706) 367-2348, or via email at
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