The answer to that is “yes”! A new study finds that there is no difference in the nutrient content between canned and fresh peaches. In fact, canned peaches offered more folate and Vitamin C because the canning process opens up the cell walls so nutrients are more readily available, the report on NPR says. What does this mean for us? First, the good news is that we can eat peaches throughout the year without feeling bad that they are somehow deficient because they came from a can. Of course, it is always better to get the kind that are packed in their own juice instead of syrup and thus eliminate extra sugar from our diet.
Let us also acknowledge that they are never going to taste like fresh peaches but in the depth of a dark and snowy winter they still will evoke a memory of glowing summer days and there is certainly something to be said for that. Also, if we eat in season in summer and then use the canned variety in summer, we avoid the temptation to pick up fresh peaches in winter which have traveled half the world to get here and they are not anyway going to taste anything like the juicy peaches which will soon flood stores and farmers’ markets.
There still are concerns over the use of BPA in cans which could be also in the fruit we eat. I remember the first time I saw a report on the possible harmful effects of BPA on TV and looked in horror at the baby bottle I was rinsing at that moment. However, there is new research which shows that earlier conclusions reported in the media may have been unnecessarily alarmist. The findings are summarized in an accessible way in the link above and although they do require some effort from the lay reader, I would recommend reading it to understand the analysis.
Now, time to get my peaches on the grill to go with the ice cream! Happy long weekend!