FoodA dark side to the green gold: The troubling truth about avocados

A dark side to the green gold: The troubling truth about avocados

Why do many people stop eating avocado?
Why do many people stop eating avocado?
Images source: © Adobe Stock

30 June 2024 21:04

Although appreciated for its health benefits, avocados also have a darker side. This fruit is highly resource-intensive, and its cultivation negatively impacts the natural environment. Furthermore, avocado production is often burdened with human tragedies and even the involvement of drug cartels.

Few food products have succeeded as spectacular as the avocado, a fruit from an evergreen tree native to Mexico. Despite its popularity, more people and restaurants, especially in Western Europe, are choosing to stop consuming it. Why is this happening?

Avokadon't. Why are people giving up on eating avocados?

Despite its numerous advantages, avocados stir many controversies. There is even a movement called "avokadon't," whose members oppose consuming this fruit. The reason behind this is the horrifying reality of its cultivation.

The biggest problems occur with avocados from Mexico and Chile, the world's largest producers of this fruit. As the demand for avocados increases, so does the interest in growing them. To meet global demand, forests are being destroyed and replaced by avocado plantations. This leads to the degradation of animal habitats and soil erosion. Additionally, large amounts of pesticides are used in the cultivation process, negatively affecting the flora and fauna and the health of farmers and residents when entering the soil, air, and water.

In recent years, growing avocados has become more profitable than producing cocaine. As a result, many avocado plantations in Mexico have been taken over by drug cartels, leading to numerous (sometimes fatal) casualties among farmers who didn't want to comply with the new owners. The working conditions on these plantations are often compared to slavery.

Avocado production is resource-intensive
Avocado production is resource-intensive© Pixabay

Controversies related to avocado cultivation

Avocado production is very resource-intensive. Producing 1 kilogram of avocados requires as much as 1,850 litres of water while producing 1 kilogram of apples requires only about 7 litres. Consequently, the increasing number of avocado plantations is depleting natural water resources, particularly in Chile.

Therefore, when shopping, paying close attention to the fruit's origin is essential. We should opt for avocados from Spain or Israel and avoid those from Chile and Mexico. You can also look for products labelled as "Fair Trade."

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