BlogThe Impact of Avocados: How Sustainable Is the Fruit?
The Impact of Avocados: How Sustainable Is the Fruit?
Avocados have a surprising environmental impact. Here's everything you should know before stocking up on the trendy fruit.
Avocados are among some of the trendiest fruits to hit the market right now, especially given the rise of plant-based diets and avocado toast. But there’s more to avocados than what meets the eye.
In this episode of Good Together, we discuss how our love for avocados might be less planet-friendly than we think. Here's everything you should know about the environmental impact of avocados.
Food Miles and Avocados
Avocados have a particularly high carbon footprint: two avocados were found to release 846.36g of CO2 emissions in 2017. The food is produced in tropical climates, but eaten in a multitude of countries around the world. To satisfy our stomachs, food mileage rises.
Avocado Consumption Worldwide: The Numbers
Avocados need to be stored at a particular temperature, requiring lots of energy. Additionally, the cultivation process for avocados is very demanding.
The consumer obsession with this green fruit has unleashed a sort of chaos in Mexico. To put numbers to words, the consumption of U.S. avocados per capita has tripled from 2001 to 2018, where it now stands at roughly 8 pounds per person.
Unfortunately, this huge demand for Mexico’s so-called "green gold" is leading to deforestation, with forests being burned and cleared to make room for avocado crops. This has an adverse effect on biodiversity.
Avocados and Their Thirst Problem
Long-Term Production Costs
Thus, although it is true that the booming avocado industry in Mexico has opened the door to employment and prosperity among aspiring and practicing farmers, the environmental cost of avocado production is not to be dismissed. Rising avocado prices do have downsides.
Some Plausible Solutions to the Avocado Crisis
How can we resolve this avocado crisis? Well, firstly, farmers could minimize the number of soil treatments they use by producing avocado crops in a more precise manner. Farmers could also begin to implement "solar-powered pumps to irrigate fields, rather than powering them with diesel generators." Renewable energy is always a step in the right direction.
Another trick consumers can implement is to keep their freshly bought avocados out of the waste bin. That means learning how to store avocados properly, which could make them last up to three months.
Some cafés are even going as far as to ban the notorious green superfood, instead choosing to opt for local alternatives. Lastly, one other popular call to action is to dress the avocados with an international certification indicating that they were sustainably produced.