The Ethics of Avocados

Myth Busting: The Ethics of the Avocado

Written by Gemma Moses, Founder of Avocadeau

 

The mighty avo has been getting a lot of bad press recently, don’t think we haven’t noticed! From funding drug cartels to causing droughts – this big berry has been under the spotlight for causing some pretty damning crimes. The avocado (both the fruit and its oil) has no end of amazing health benefits, so we shouldn’t be thinking about cutting our use of the wonderful avo, rather we should be thinking more responsibly about where we source them. Sustainability is something we pride ourselves on at Avocadeau, and this is why we ensure that all of our ingredients come from sustainable sources.

Avocado on tree

The mighty Hass avocado – you can see why it’s been nicknamed ‘green gold’!

Dodgy Drug Dealings

Mexico is responsible for the production of 45% of the world’s avocados. Unfortunately, like many of the other big profit foods grown in Latin America (limes, cheese, whiskey just to name a few), avocados – now coined ‘blood avocados’ have suffered drastically from the effects of the Mexican drug trade. These drug cartels saw the huge surge in the demand for avocados and began exploiting avocado farmers by demanding sizeable percentages of their profits.

The effect of these cartels has significantly decreased since many of the community of avocado farmers have clubbed together to form a security unit, preventing their farms from exploitation. Now is by no means the time to stop buying Mexican avocados however. Doing so would punish those farmers that are farming sustainably, and may only lead to pushing the problem on to another area or a different crop. This will not solve the root of the problem – the farming of avocados cannot be blamed for funding the Mexican drugs trade, the fundamental issue is the increasing demand for the drugs themselves.

The Thirsty Berry

There is no doubt that the avocado is a thirsty fruit, but they still require only less than a tenth of the water required for the production of meat! As far as vegetable oils go – avocados are in fact far more water efficient than their competitors – with olive oil taking more than 7 times more water to produce. Castor oil, one of the most common oils used in cosmetics, is king in the vegetable oil world, taking the highest amount of water to produce.

Avocado plant seedling

The avo’ plant is thirsty there’s no doubt about it! But no where near as thirsty as some of its competitors…

Sustainability is Key

We, as a consumer, need to think responsibly about all of the produce we are purchasing. We should all be looking for the Fairtrade stamp of approval – this ensures that no matter where the produce came from, it has been farmed sustainably and the farmer has received a fair price.

Since the spotlight has been heavily on the ethics of avocados recently, we have had lots of you asking where our avocados are sourced from. At Avocadeau we only enrich our products with finest avocado oil, which is cold pressed from avocados grown in Spain. We chose this particular oil for its amazing absorption properties and wonderful richness. We ensure that all of our ingredients are ethically and sustainably sourced – creating products that have minimal impact on the environment and maximum benefit on your wellbeing.

If you have any more questions about our ingredients and where they come from feel free to drop us a message! We are always more than happy to discuss.

 

Sources:

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/millennials-avocado-quinoa-chile-drought-water-environment-human-rights-a8372551.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/food-water-footprint_n_5952862?ec_carp=954412907003383533&guccounter=1&guce_referrer_us=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_cs=OhlIUhMZWgtCIfB1ooECjA

https://munchies.vice.com/en_us/article/gvk3a7/why-mexican-cartels-want-in-on-the-food-business

https://www.treehugger.com/green-food/from-lettuce-to-beef-whats-the-water-footprint-of-your-food.html

https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/the-real-cost-of-avocados-facts-and-health-economy