Shame on avocado toast

Avocados are one of the hottest foods out there right now; Between putting it in salads, smoothies, or on toast, avocados seem to hold all the hype. However, though they may be a superfood for the human body, they have the opposite name for our planet. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Avocado production per capita jumped from 1.1 pounds annually in 1999 to 4.5 ponds in 2011. Now avocados don’t require nearly as much water as say almonds, however they require a significantly higher amount than other produce. It takes 74.1 gallons of irrigated water to grow a pound of avocados in California, a surprising 30 pounds higher than the second highest crop, peaches. “Land devoted to avocados has expanded rapidly—from about 6,180 hectares (15,270 acres) in 1980 to 27,000 hectares (66,700 acres) in 2006, all the way to 36,000 hectares (88,960 acres) in 2014, according to the USDA.” Now avocado production is seasonal which is beneficial for the environment, like almonds and other damaging nuts, but it still does require massive amounts of water for production. California currently takes a laissez-faire approach to groundwater regulation, and this should certainly be implemented in every country avocados are grown (Chile and Mexico included).

5 thoughts on “Shame on avocado toast

  1. This is a very interesting topic and very similar to another post about almonds and almond milk! It is crazy that a state with so many problems surrounding droughts produces so many water dependent foods. These trending healthy foods should be looked at more cautiously.

  2. I loved this topic! I also wrote about almonds but did not know about how comparative the production is! After reading your source article, have you reflected about how you will change your personal avocado eating habits?

  3. This is extremely interesting. I would have never thought of Avacados as having such an immense impact on the Environment. In addition, I think it is fascinating that despite the known fact that Avocados require significant amounts of water to grow, California has continued to expand its Avocado production. This comes interestingly enough when California finds itself in an extreme shortage of drinkable water. Is too much of that water going to Avocados? This highlights an important perspective on the cost of eating healthy.

  4. This is very upsetting news as a big avocado fan all around, but what kind of approach do you think California should take? What are alternative farming methods and/or new human habits we can form to reduce this water footprint? How much water would we save if these alternative farming practices were implemented compared to our current system?

  5. I found this post really interesting, especially because avocados have become so popular. I liked your approach of describing just how much water is devoted to growing a pound of avocados. I do wonder, though, how many people will continue to consume avocados based on their health benefits, while overlooking the water use necessary to grow them.

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