Georgia Peach My Ass !

17 09 2007
At the risk of upsetting of few Georgia natives, i would hereby like to share my bewilderment, perhaps even my indignation, at the following contradiction :

Georgia prides itself in being “The Peach State”, just like California is the “Golden State”, New York “the Empire State” and Nevada the “Gambling State”. As a result, any lack of inspiration for naming some street, public building, company or what-have-you in Atlanta results in the default word “Peach”, or the variant “Peachtree”, being affixed to the corresponding other noun. Many a Georgia woman thus claims to be a “Georgia Peach”. The Peach ridiculousness culminated last friday at some art opening event, when the dignified director of a fancy Buckhead gallery mentioned a new site located “on Peachtree and Peachtree”. By that he presumably meant the intersection of Peachtree Street and West Peachtree Street. I was dumbfounded that nobody chuckled, but in fairness, we’re in Georgia and they’re damn proud of their peaches.

Fine. I love peaches. I mean, without any European cynicism or bad pun intended for once, i really love the peach fruit, especially ripe, sweet and juicy, flavorful, yellow or white, from the orchard or the vine. I love all peaches.

But someone please tell me where I can find such wondrous manifestations of nature in Atlanta (Georgia) ? Granted, I cannot claim to have scoured every single possible grocery store in town, but from Whole Foods, Sevananda, Kroger, Trader Joe’s or even the venerable Farmer’s Market, all i can see, on endless shelves, in organic or industrial form, are Peaches GROWN IN CALIFORNIA.

And shipped, naturally, at the cost of considerable carbon emissions all across the country, because we live in a senseless world where oil tycoons have drilled the mantra “unlimited mileage” into most consumers’ brains.

Now, is it just me or is the idea of buying, here in Georgia, Californian Peaches without taste because they were collected way before their time, and for the pleasure of needlessly emitting carbon, borderline ridiculous ?

Now, i understand that if the combined price of production and transportation is lower than growing locally, then that’s what you do … And no, i am not an economist, but if we’re soon running out of oil (and i don’t think any economist denies that), then the price of transportation will inevitably rise, and it will become increasingly less profitable to freight produce instead of growing it next door.

Unfortunately, most of the produce we consume currently works that way. It turns out that “produce in the U.S. travels, on average, 1300 – 2000 miles from farm to consumer” (source : ATTRA).
When it comes to organic produce in the British Isles, it is not only absurd, it is downright infuriating.
But don’t even get me started on organic food and all its hidden environmental misdeeds, i would lose my point and my temper.

In regards to food, England has not been self-sufficient for a few centuries now, so they theoretically have an excuse for importing it. What i’d like to know is why, for good heaven’s sake, i can’t buy a darn Georgia peach in Georgia.

Anyone ?