Our Love of Avocados Is Destroying the Environment

Image via the AP.
Image via the AP.

What did you have for breakfast today? Me? I had avocado on an English muffin with a heaping side of GUILT.

According to Marketplace, the current global demand for avocados is leading farmers in Mexico to destroy important forestland in order to plant more avocado trees.

The AP’s Mark Stevenson reports that—following an increased demand for avocados in China—an avocado crop, “especially as a cash crop, is just so much more attractive than anything else farmers can plant or do for a living.”


Stevenson continues:

So you can either continue to preserve your forest or you can sort of start out planting avocado saplings, 20 acres here, 20 acres there. And these are sensitive forests. They support not only the Monarch Butterfly, but they support an entire range of animals, plant life, and of course the forestry industry there in Michoacán.

The Mexican government attempts to regulate avocado farming, but are often too late in discovering the destruction of surrounding forests.

“Farmers have a subtle practice of planting avocado trees under the forest canopy, and then just getting the forest down to let those trees have sunlight,” Stevenson says. “So it’s a stealth practice, but the piecemeal effect cumulatively becomes quite large.”


Hold the guacamole on your lunchtime burrito bowl.

Managing Editor, Jezebel

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Have avocados overtaken almonds in the trendy to feel guilty eating it stakes?