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Avocados banned from trendy cafes over environmental concerns

‘The western world’s obsession with avocado has been placing unprecedented demand on avocado farmers'

Sabrina Barr
Sunday 02 December 2018 17:24 GMT
Kelly Sikkema
Kelly Sikkema (Unsplash)

The avocado has become a staple ingredient on the plates of brunch aficionados galore, with photos of the superfood permeating Instagram on a daily basis.

While many may not be able to imagine living without the green fruit, a number of trendy cafes have begun removing it from their menus due to environmental concerns.

The Wild Strawberry Cafe, on Peterley Manor Farm in Buckinghamshire, shared a post on its Instagram page earlier this week explaining why it had decided to ban avocado from its kitchen.

“As of today, we will no longer be serving avocado in the yurt. This. Is. Not. A. Joke,” the caption reads.

“Controversial? Absolutely … we’re as acquainted as the next person to our weekly intake of smashed avocado toast but this is something we have thought long and hard about.”

The cafe then went on to explain the multiple reasons behind the decision, including seasonality, the distance the avocados travel when they’re imported and sustainability.

The Wild Strawberry Cafe usually cooks with locally sourced ingredients, which is why its owner felt that it was unusual for them to feature avocados on the menu when they’re sourced from much further afield.

Furthermore, the cafe mentioned the fact that in light of the growing worries over climate change, it seemed illogical to transport avocados in planes coming from Central and South America when they can cook with nutritious food grown nearby.

“The western world’s obsession with avocado has been placing unprecedented demand on avocado farmers, pushing up prices to the point where there are even reports of Mexican drug cartels controlling lucrative exports,” the cafe said on Instagram.

“Forests are being thinned out to make way for avocado plantations. Intensive farming on this scale contributes to greenhouse emissions by its very nature and places pressure on local water supplies.

Earlier this year, Tincan Coffee Co in Bristol also announced that it would stop serving avocados to its customers.

“We love an avocado, particularly when it is on sourdough with an egg, but the ethics behind running a café have always been important to us,” said cofounder Adam White, according to Bristol Live.

“Serving avocados, knowing the huge socio-economic impact that avocado farming is having in Mexico and California just didn’t feel right.”

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In 2016, Greenpeace Mexico stated people in the region are likely to suffer due to the increasing demand for avocados.

“Beyond the displacement of forests and the effects on water retention, the high use of agricultural chemicals and the large volumes of wood needed to pack and ship avocados are other factors that could have negative effects on the area’s environment and the well-being of its inhabitants,” the organisation explained.

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