Avocados: Superfoods or Environmental Destruction?

Stuffed with prawns, guacamole sauce, smoothie, or salad for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, avocado has begun to form part of the diet of a large part of the world’s population in recent years. According to the UN Comtrade Database, the US is the largest avocado importer. The country’s quantity has almost tripled in recent years, from 345 million kg in 2010 to nearly 928 million in 2017. This « avocado fever » has also reached Europe, where in the last seven years, it has been more than doubled the region’s import levels.

And Why Has This Exotic Fruit Become So Famous?

Is Avocado a Fruit or a Vegetable?

Undoubtedly, due to its numerous nutritional properties: it is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (Oleic acid), magnesium, potassium, vitamins C, E (a powerful antioxidant), and B6. Also, various studies have indicated that avocado consumption reduces the levels of total cholesterol and its LDL-Cholesterol fraction (‘bad’ cholesterol) and triglycerides in the blood. It is not all gold that glitters; this superfood is causing many benefits for consumers as disasters in the major producing countries’ ecological systems. Among these, Mexico is the undisputed protagonist, with a historical production in 2017 of almost two million tons, also standing out as the first exporting country.

But What Is Behind This Exquisite and Much-Loved Fruit?

Angry Avocado For Graphic Tee - Cartoon Clipart (#3209676) - PinClipart

Avocado needs a high amount of water. The Water Footprint Network states: « It takes 2,000 liters of water to produce a kilo of avocado – four times more than the amount needed to produce a kilo of oranges and ten times more than the amount to produce a kilo of tomato. »

The answer seems easy when you look at the facts: avocado cultivation causes deforestation, endangers wildlife, finances drug cartels, and contributes to the water crisis in many parts of the South, where it is mainly produced. So, yes: since these are the side effects of our healthy food today, how should we react ethically? Should we stop eating our favorite food altogether? That’s perhaps a little more difficult to understand? For now, it is not necessarily the most ethical solution. Let’s find out why.

The Avocado Crisis

Avocado: the 'green gold' causing environment havoc | World Economic Forum

The cultivation of this fruit is causing severe environmental problems in the major producing countries. In Mexico (mainly in Michoacán), many farmers have burned large forest areas to convert to avocado monoculture. Also, the high water retention for avocado cultivation reduces the amount of water available for the region’s animals and inhabitants.

The British media The Guardian has investigated the situation of the inhabitants of the province of Petorca (Chile) in its article « Chilean villagers claim British appetite for avocados is draining region dry. » In this region, the British newspaper states that « many avocado plantations install illegal pipes and wells to divert water from rivers to irrigate their crops. As a result, residents claim that rivers have dried up and that the groundwater level has dropped, causing a deep regional drought. For this reason, residents are now forced to use contaminated water delivered by pickup trucks.

A study commissioned in 2014 on dispensed water showed that levels of coliforms – the bacteria found in feces – were far above the legal limit. Veronica Vilches, a Chilean activist, interviewed by The Guardian, commented that « to send good avocados to Europeans, we are drinking water with poop. »

How to Solve This Problem?

This superfood may seem way too much of a challenge to many. Nor does a complete boycott of a product whose export has turned into a burgeoning economic activity worth billions of dollars for some countries seems the most appropriate solution.

So, What to Do?

Embrace sustainable avocado packaging on National Avocado Day

The next time you go to the supermarket, you could start looking at the origin of the products you buy and which ones have obtained social, environmental, or economic sustainability certifications. There are already many types of certifications (Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade (Fair Trade), UTZ Certified, just to name a few) you just need to identify which ones are your favorites!

Benefits of Eating Sustainable Seafood

As more and more doctors are recommending seafood, it’s become difficult to contemplate sustainability and also the ecosystems related to fishing.

What is a sustainable fish? Does the chance related to fishing outweigh the health benefits of fish? What should we eat, farmed or wild fish? we are able to wander away in some questions. So, let’s understand the advantages of eating sustainable fish?

1. They’re healthy

Many sustainable fish are rich in heart-healthy protein, nutrients, minerals and omega-3s, while containing few destructive synthetic chemicals. Overfished fish, like salmon and tuna, typically contain mercury, PCBs and contaminants. Large fish that are to a higher place the organic phenomenon generally have higher levels of harmful synthetic chemicals because of bioaccumulation. As a result, sustainable seafood is pure and healthy.

2. Less money has to be spent to shop for them.

Durable fish like trout and Salvelinus alpinus are quite affordable, unlike salmon. you’ll be able to also buy farmed fish instead of expensive wild fish to save lots of your money.

3. You’ll be able to eat seafood within the style of animal oil.

The immense benefits of eating seafood is realized by consuming it within the variety of supplements and animal oil. animal oil is obtained from fish that are caught to feed humans further as from fish that are caught to feed animals. the acquisition of sustainable animal oil and dietary supplements isn’t only beneficial to health, but also to marine ecosystems.

4. This may facilitate your support local farmers

Local farmers survive on small-scale fishing, unlike large commercial fishing companies that may hunt fish in large quantities using modern gear and fleets. By choosing sustainable seafood and third-party certified products, you may help poor farmers make a living.

Should We Stop Eating Fish?

Many people say it’s wise stop eating fish because the oceans are becoming poorer. We believe that this can be not the answer because many fishermen rely upon fish for his or her livelihood and fish has many health benefits. they’re rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and of top quality. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy body and reduce the danger of diseases like heart attacks.

They stimulate brain health, prevent depression, reduce the chance of autoimmune diseases and might improve the standard of sleep, among others.

Fish may be a delicious food with many health benefits. So rather than taking a drastic step, you must take a selected action that may be beneficial to both the environment and human health. the simplest thanks to try this is to begin trying to find sustainable seafood.

How Are You Able To Check Whether The Seafood You Get Is Sustainable Or Not?

Sustainable fish has become an intriguing issue over the past decade thanks to concerns about over-fishing and harmful fishing practices on the seabed. For fish to be considered sustainable, many elements are taken under consideration, like the kind of food given to the fish if it’s farmed, the ecological effect of fishing, angling strategies, the present stock of fish, etc.

There are many sustainable seafood certifications and programs that job with fisheries, farms and businesses to market sustainable fishing practices and ensure a protected, reliable and responsible supply of fish. you’ll be able to check for these certifications after you go on a spree. you’ll also check sustainability options once you move to dilapidated a close-by restaurant.

According to the International Union for Conservation of untamed Fish report, quite 85% of the world’s fisheries are completely diverted. Gathering reasonably top quality fish reduces the burden of untamed fisheries and allows them to breed.

Finally, seafood may be a wonderful source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but to form the correct balance between fish, humans and oceans, nothing beats choosing sustainable seafood.