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Our Obsession with Avocados Is Not Sustainable

At risk of gaining a few enemies here, but this has to be said: It’s time to hold the guac, guys. Seriously. 

I know, I know, I love the fatty fruit as much as the next millennial, but our growing obsession with all-things avocado is destroying the environment and impoverishing the local communities that have relied on these green gems for tens of thousands of years.

In Mexico, the largest exporter of avocados, locals can no longer afford their dietary staple. The country even considered importing the stone fruit to reduce prices. Why?

The export demand is so pressing that there’s basically no viable land left to grow more.

Farmers have taken to illegally chopping down forests to secure space to grow a greater supply.

This economically-driven behaviour has created civil unrest and now, “avocado police” patrol the fields to safegaurd what’s called “green gold.”

The rampant deforestation is contributing to species displacement and forever changing the surrounding ecosystem.

Pexels

Mexico is not the only country feeling the burden of our obsession, either. Kenya, the six-largest producer of avocados, actually banned their export due to local shortages. Australia is also struggling to keep balance between demand and supply. 

These shortages create price spikes and lead to devastated landscapes in the name of some overpriced avotoast and chip dip.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to contribute to this vicious cycle if I can help it, and in this case, I definitely can.

Avocados are not a dietary staple in Canada. We don’t depend on these fruits for exclusive essential nutrients—we’ll be just fine without them. In fact, our grocery budgets will thank us and we’ll never have to wonder if it’s ripe enough to eat or rotten in the inside again. 

This year, I’m going to #holdthegauc in my efforts to live a more ecoconscious lifestyle. I know you’re probably thinking, well, there are a ton of problematic crops that fuel civil unrest and deforestation (looking at you, palm oil). I get it, and I’m certainly not trying to be a hypocrite here. I’m simply looking at the facts and assessing what I can reasonably do within my own diet to reduce my ecological impact. This seems like a small step on my part.

Cover image credit: Pexels

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