Alright guys, here's the thing. I like to think that our generation cares about the planet. Vegetarianism/veganism is on the rise, and many cite the environment as the reason behind this choice.
We've also seen the rise of eco-friendly trends. Upcycling, anyone? And let's not forget that wearing vintage and secondhand clothes is now a point of pride, not one of shame.
However, put all of these things out of your mind for a second, because I want to talk to you about how a different Millennial trend, avocados, is ruining the planet, and how Millennials are driving its demand.
TL;DR Avocado production damages the environment. It's best to eat fewer of them.
That's right, avocados. They have become a staple of the Millennial diet, and it can be found everywhere from smoothies to ice cream, from brownies to toast. The innocuous-looking green fruit is increasing exponentially in popularity, with dire consequences for the planet.
Ok, listen up. I know that avocados have gotten a lot of press in the last few years. I'm not sure why the expensive, quick-to-rot, versatile fruit has garnered so much attention, but it has become the unlikely symbol of our generation.
Forget all that stuff about avocado toast and home ownership. The real news is that avocados are kind of ruining the environment, and we're to blame.
First off, changes in demand are throwing off the market. In the US, avocado demand has increased 443% in the last 20 years. This demand is not sustainable: Mexican farmers are clearing away acres of rainforest to make space for the fruit, which has been dubbed "green gold."
The expansion of farming land is not always done willingly. Production of the fruit in Mexico is controlled by the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel, which enforces taxes on farmers, and is not afraid to kill those who do not cooperate.
The other hub of avocado production, California, is not without faults either. It is already pretty ridiculous that the drought-striken state is a major agriculture hub at all, and the state often has to ration their water supply to make sure farmers are able to water their crops. Avocados are a particularly thirsty fruit, and it takes 72 GALLONS of water to produce a pound of avocados.
Not to mention that, to make the most of this new market, many producers are harvesting avocados year round, despite them being a seasonal fruit. If you buy out-of-season avocados, you are encouraging more greenhouse gas emissions, because the fruit has to be transported from further away.
I'm not saying we need to stop eating avocados altogether. I'm just saying that, though the price of avocados is steep, it still doesn't take into consideration the social and environmental damages the fruit causes.
So, maybe you DON'T need extra guac with that after all?