You love avocado? So do we. Avocado has become the whole world’s sweetheart since the last decade. Everybody suddenly loves this exotic fruit and therefore the demands for it in the market have been skyrocketing in the last decade.
On the other hand, the demands for avocado seem like have always been fulfilled. There has been no complain in the market because of avocado’s disappearance. All of that, thanks to avocado farmers all around the world who have bent over their backs to keep the supply up.
But underneath the hype of this green fruit, there is something dark lurking. We are eating so many avocadoes every single day that our obsession toward it has become something unhealthy, especially to the nature.
Just a little clue, our obsession to avocado can even cause earthquake. How? Here in this article, let’s talk about it.
The Avocado Hype
Are you one of those people who start your day with avocado? Then you might do it in the name of healthy lifestyle. The marketing of healthy lifestyle has been the main cause of avocado hype over the last years.
Indeed, this fruit is highly nutritious, but that’s not the only reason why it could reach the top spot of healthy food. Avocado is also delicious and we can easily combine it into a lot of variations of foods that it is possible to eat avocado in every single meal in a day.
In example, we can make it into delicious avocado toast to accompany our breakfast. Later on, when the sun gets higher, we can eat avocado salad for lunch. Those two would charge our body with healthy energy, before finally we come home to eat guacamole for dinner.
This is what makes avocado slightly different from other healthy foods. This fruit can be made into a lot of delicious variations, but we would likely still enjoy it even though we know that we are eating products made from this food all day.
Don’t forget that avocado is perfect source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6. Other than that, it can also provide healthy calories from its fat. Because of those reasons, we can say that avocado gets the hype that it really deserves.
How Many Avocadoes We Eat?
So, moving on from the reasons why this fruit got the deserved hype, let’s talk about numbers. See, the consumption of this ‘green gold’ is so high. Global consumption of this fruit reaches 5 billion kilograms every single year in the last decade.
This fruit is mainly consumed in North America, Europe and Asia according to data collected by World Economic Forum. From such great number in consumption rate of this fruit, United States of America contributes incredibly huge number in it especially when it comes to special moments.
In example, in preparation of Superbowl 2020, 240 full trucks of avocadoes delivered the ‘green gold’ from Mexican state of Michoacan to United States every single day for weeks. The reason was to fulfill the demands for this fruit during the country’s most anticipated sport event.
Superbowl 2020 recorded an unbelievable number of avocado consumptions, reaching around 385 million kilograms. The number itself means around 7% of the world’s global avocado consumption was consumed in just a day.
The next question is, how could the earth cope with such high demand of avocado? Especially when the fruit has its own ‘special day’ where the number of consumptions can reach unbelievable number such as in Superbowl day?
The ‘Green Gold’ Miners
This chapter is where we answer about those questions. If avocado is called ‘green gold’, then who are the miners and how could they mine it so consistently in such great number? The answer is Mexico that produces the fruit from farms more than anywhere else in the planet.
Avocado farming in Michoachan state has a land production in the size of almost 200,000 football fields. That’s why they could provide that many avocadoes to fulfill the demand. Annually, the ‘green gold’ business in the state has around $2.5 billion a year in market value.
If you visit the state, you will witness avocado farms everywhere. But something is dirty behind those farmland fences that risk analytics group Verisk Maplecroft warned it might become the next ‘conflict commodity’.
“The exponential growth of the avocado’s popularity is a mixed blessing for Mexico’s communities and farmers,” Verisk Maplecroft’s Americas analyst, Christian Wagner said. While most have benefited from record-breaking prices, many have attracted the attention of organised crime groups that are sinking their teeth into the profits.”
Yes, a lot of reasons are included in the warning statement. Some of those are involvement of cartels, child labors, and illegal deforestation to open new farmlands. The latter can lead to even greater problems that we are going to talk about later.
The thing to note is, global avocado demand keeps on increasing due to rising trend of healthy lifestyle that includes consumption of the fruit. If we are not careful in handling it, it would lead into something unwanted. “Criminal groups clear protected woodlands to make room for their avocado groves,” said in the report.
Clearing the woodlands would affect water cycle in the area. Water will find it much more difficult to enter the ground and reach underground aquifer. What’s worse, avocado is a ‘thirsty’ plant that needs a lot of water. It consumes around 5 times the amount of water needed to grow other plants.
See the problem here? With less water entering the aquifer and high consumption of water by avocado plants, will eventually lead to rapid extraction of underground water aquifer. Finally, it will lead to creation of hollow subsoil caverns where the water used to settle.
The imbalance in pressure from below and above the hollow cavern is believed to be responsible for thousands of seismic movements in Michoachan. Researchers are afraid that the seismic movements are just an intro of something worse, such as liquefaction.
Looking on the trend nowadays, it seems like the avocado hype will still continue to rise. Will it be too late before we realize that there is something wrong in it?