Despite its fuzzy texture, peach skin is perfectly edible, and many people eat peaches without peeling. However, according to USDA sampling, peaches can be coated with as many as nine different pesticides before arriving at the grocery store. On the Consumers Union index of pesticide toxicity, peaches ranked highest.
Since the accumulation of pesticides on fruit is heaviest on the surface, peeling is one way to reduce the toxin level. Choosing peaches with USDA Organic stickers means fewer pesticides were used in cultivation. Many fruits have a thin wax coating which holds pesticides. Washing fruit thoroughly, including scrubbing it gently with a sponge, helps remove the waxy layer.