Are Avocados Sustainable? - greenmarket.eco
Avocados have a reputation as a vegan/Millennial staple. But is it finally time we relinquished this delicious green fruit? 🥑

There is a back and forth debate between carnivores and vegans about the extent of this, given that in every scenario, avocados use fewer resources and produce fewer greenhouse gases than animal products. Even when shipped at great distances, emissions are much less than locally-produced animal products. 🚛

Moreover, avocados have boosted the economies of places where they naturally grow. However, just because avocados are less damaging to the environment than meat and dairy products doesn’t mean they’re sustainable. 🌳

👉 The problem is with how they are farmed to meet growing global demand. This demand has given rise to plantation-style farms where avocados are grown as monocultures with high usage of chemicals and exploitative practices that degrade soil fertility. In Mexico, avocados bring in more money from avocado exports than petroleum. This drives up productivity to the detriment of the environment and there have been accusations of deforestation associated with plantation expansion, which has negatively impacted biodiversity.

👉 The avocado industry has also increased local food insecurity. Due to increased demand in Mexico, the price per kilo for the fruit is now equivalent to the daily minimum wage, 80 pesos (£3). There are also reports of cartels running the avocado production in Mexico.

👉 Overall, it’s not looking so great for our fave brunch buddy. Avocados are not the worst in terms of sustainability - but they’re not sustainable. The fruit are not bad for our environment, but our flawed food system is.

All of this suggests that we should cut avocados out of our day-to-day diet and start seeing them again as something only to be savoured occasionally. Until this changes, there are plenty of delicious alternatives. We recommend lemony pea mash on toast instead of the classic avo: mash pea or edamame beans with olive oil, lemon, and optional chives, garlic and parsley. Add some chilli if you’re feeling spicy! 🌶️💚

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