Say No To Avocado

Avocado is becoming very popular in India in the last few decades when it has been promoted as the "Real Super Food". With online home delivery applications, it becomes easier to get hold of anything which comes from "saat samunder paar". Avocado is one of them. 

You can hear this blog here.

Avocado from Unsplash

But are you aware, that when you eat an avocado, you are doing the worst for our environment and humanity? You are the reason for so many people in Latin American countries who are not able to get the basic requirements of water. You are the reason for all the killings, rapes, and kidnappings among the avocado growers of Mexico by criminal cartels. The land is getting useless and not fit to grow anything. The water bodies are drying up.

I was binge-watching the series "Rotten" on Netflix and came to know about the major concerns associated with avocado production pertaining to environmental hazards,  human rights, and organized crime. 

The avocado is a native of Mexico to Guatemala. In the USA, it is widely cultivated in California state. They are cultivated in the Mediterranean climates of many countries. Mexico is the leading producer, supplying almost 32 % of world production. It is followed by USA and Chile. 

Avocado production is hazardous to the environment. Can you imagine, the one avocado, which you eat needs 18 US gallons of water and emits 400 gms of CO2 emission. In major production regions of Mexico, the USA, and Chile, the water demands for avocado cultivation have put extraordinary pressure on the local water resources. 

Source Unsplash

Today, I will not be talking about the benefits of Avocado as a superfood but how it's harming the environment and has become a major concern for human rights. Its rise to a superfood has made it a lucrative crop and money-hungry cartels have set their eyes on the huge gains which are comparable to the financials matching with the drug cartels. And drugs are illegal while dealing in avocados is legal. So, drug mafia cartels of Mexico started targeting the avocado cultivators. 

Avocados were once dismissed as an unhealthy fatty fruit. But its newfound superfood status has made people all over the world go gaga after it. It is the most popular fruit in the world. With its rising popularity, the cultivation of avocados has become a massive business in the past few decades particularly in Mexico, USA and Chile. 

This episode of Rotten series on Netflix about the Avocado war is an eye-opener. It highlights the way, avocado farming is impacting lives and the environment mainly on American continents. It highlights the situations in both Mexico and Chile, where small farmers have been crushed by the bigger avocado production cartels and rivers are drying or rather have already dried up. The environment can not sustain the mass production of avocados for a long time now. 

A crate of Avocados - Unsplash
Such large production of avocado has caused extensive soil degradation, extreme weather conditions, biodiversity loss, and brought the planet to a man-made environmental disaster. 

In Mexico, avocado farmers are being harassed by drug cartels as they want to control the avocado trade. This is legal unlike drugs, which is an illegal business. the flow of money in both the businesses is comparable. The incidences of murder, kidnapping, raping is common in the areas of avocado farming in Mexico (Michoacan). The government intervened albeit meekly and with no positive change or results. Local big farmers took their own safety into their own hands. But still, it is like living under constant threat.

As long as there is a huge market, producers will grow them. The best way to curtail and then stop the cultivation is to reduce demand. As a customer and responsible human being, we should say no to avocado. 

Let us come together to stop this large-scale environmental destruction by #saynotoavocado. The time is right now. 



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