Food for Thought: Avocados
Updated: May 16, 2021
Despite its recent surge in popularity, the trendy avocado is not particularly sustainable for the environment. That guacamole and chips or avocado toast you have been munching on increases resource depletion and releases chemicals into the atmosphere.
Avocado production demands vast amounts of water; in fact, avocado trees require twice as much as a fairly dense forest. The majority of UK supermarkets order supplies from Chile, where growing avocados causes farmers to divert water from emptying rivers.
Additionally, American-consumed avocados primarily come from California, a state highly prone to drought, depleting their natural resources even more.
Water isn’t the only environmental concern there is regarding avocados, deforestation is part of the problem too. In Michoacán, Mexico, the production of avocados tripled between 2001 and 2010. As a result, the area now suffers from the loss of around 1,700 acres per year.
Shipping of avocados takes copious amounts of wood, as well as numerous chemicals that pollute the air. If that isn’t enough, avocados contain an acid called persin that is highly toxic to animals.
One bright side to eating avocados is they don’t produce very much carbon dioxide -- a common greenhouse gas -- meaning they are not a large contributor to global warming. And in terms of a healthy diet, avocados provide a great source of vitamin C, E, K and B-6 among other nutrients.
However, when purchasing these beloved goods in the future, be sure to look for organically farmed avocados to reduce the environmental impact.
Article Written By Eden Leavey