Clean eating and JERFing is all very well…until it becomes dementedly unsustainable.
We’ve seen it happen with chia seeds and quinoa, where the fashionable demand for these new foods have seen crops dwindling for the communities that rely on them as a traditional, staple food, with prices hiking by sometimes 4-5 times. Ethical consumers should be aware that poor Bolivians can no longer afford their staple grain (quinoa), due to western demand raising prices.
I recently wrote a post – Sorry, but you shouldn’t be drinking almond milk – to highlight the sustainability issues behind the scenes of our fashionable alt-milk obsession.
I hate to be the mirror-holder-upper to our bourgeois culinary habits, but today I need to flag the Problem With Avocados.
Around the world we’re eating a lot of avocados. Cafes serve a whopping half a fruit on breakfast plates. Raw foodies add a whole one to their smoothies. Avos are now everyday food, treated as base for a meal, not as a decadent accompaniment. Today, avocados are the most posted food on Instagram.
In Australia, plantings are set to double in the next decade to 110,000 hectares to cater for the demand and the industry’s aim is to get Australians eating five kilos per person per year.
Some might see this as a wonderful thing. But we must look at the implications of our eagerness to Avo Everything.
Well, first, they’re sucking up a lot of water. By one estimate it takes 272 litres just to grow half a kilogram (two or three medium-sized) avocados. This is a problem broadly. Especially here in Australia.