Clancy’s Rant of the Week: Avocados

Since I haven’t ranted in awhile I will be dropping two rants this week. Here’s the first one for your enjoyment:

When it comes to hipsters the only thing I hate more than them is the trends they set, especially when it comes to food. I easily dealt with bacon, cauliflower, kale, and PBR. I even got into foraging food. But the biggest trend that is happening now has been slowly creeping up over the years and just like any hipster trend the trend followers have arrived to the party, even China is jumping on board. What do I speak of? One of the most selfish foods you could be buying and putting on your toast these days: Avocados.

Yes, you can argue meat is pretty bad or even any produce we start to mass produce, but the hipsters have attached them to this fruit and it’s bad. The demand for avocados is not only making them more expensive, but also causing an environmental impact.

Let’s start with Mexico. Due to the value of the Peso it is very cheap to import avocados from Mexico to the States. Since demand has gone up so has production and the need for more groves. Avocados do well in soil similar to pine forest, so Mexican farmers are illegally cutting down mature pine forest and planting them with new avocado trees. A mature forest takes care of itself with no need for additional water or fertilizers. A permanent forest also does a better job at capturing carbon, so these new groves are taking away natural filters for the air we breathe. One way to avoid getting caught is by growing the avocado trees under the pine trees which causes the pine trees to die allowing the farmers to cut them down.

The other downside besides the environmental impact is that in Mexico due to the revenue it can generate has attracted the drug cartel Caballeros Templarios to cease control of a lot of this business, so a lot of the money the U.S. spends on avocados are going to the pockets of the cartel. So if you are anti-drug then it seems that you need to stop buying avocados.

When it comes to buying from other countries instead of Mexico there is little research into growing practices but most hispanic countries hire cheap labour and have poor working conditions on farms, so we can assume that this fruit would be no different from other crops.

So we turn to California, and all avocado producers for that matter. One avocado on average takes about 70 liters of water, about 18.5 gallons for those who need an easier perspective. But, depending on where you are growing it sometimes requires a lot more water to grow the fruit. In some parts of Chile that means 320 liters, just over 84.5 gallons. Without getting into the world’s fresh water crisis I just want to point out that we are growing food in regions that need as much water as they can keep for the people that actually live there. California has been in a drought for years and recently just claimed they’re out of it but who knows if that will last. Don’t get me started on the almonds they’re growing.

Another headline that avocados have been grabbing are “avocado hand.” Due to it’s popularity people are injuring themselves when cutting the fruit. I’d post a video of how to properly cut an avocado here but I’d rather you cut yourself and grow to hate the fruit. We need to stop mass producing produce, especially this one.

I urge you all to do your own research, it isn’t just avocados. A huge thing we can start doing to help fight climate change is by knowing where our food comes from and the impact it has when we increase the demand for it. The journey for some of these foods to reach us is long and the origin and the local impact it has is more drastic than you imagine. So before you stuff your face with that guac take a hard look at it and the other foods that you buy and know what you really are putting in your mouth. You are probably doing more harm to this world than President Donald J. Trump and that isn’t a good thought, is it?

Buy local.

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