Avocados have gained popularity in Africa for a myriad of reasons including beauty and diet. The fruit’s popularity has risen around the world recently which has been attributed to the increased awareness of their health benefits.
Kenya, which is Africa’s second-largest producer of avocados after South Africa, has seen thousands of coffee farmers turn to uproot coffee trees and plant avocado trees now common as ‘green gold,’ with 7,500 hectares under cultivation.
Britain however, due to environmental concerns, is slowly witnessing as the fruit falls from the menu. The super fruit that is famous for its healthy cholesterol had gained favor in most of the Britain restaurants as chefs artfully decorated plates sending excitement all over the continent. Avocados are used in smoothies, sandwiches and hair conditioning too.
The fruit is now being ditched on environmental grounds as its huge water intake is negatively affecting farmers and farmland in South America where farming of the fruit majorly takes place. This has raised concern as restaurant owners feel responsible for the water crisis growing in South America.
Britain’s obsession for avocado has created a worrying demand which has farmers draining their land to satisfy the demand and make money at the expense of their land and environment.
“The Western world’s obsession with avocado has been placing unprecedented demand on avocado farmers,” Wild Strawberry Cafeteria wrote on its Instagram page adding that; “Forests are being thinned out to make way for avocado plantations. Intensive farming on this scale contributes to greenhouse emissions by its very nature & places pressure on local water supplies.”
Critics have termed the move as a cynical marketing strategy while others advised that the restaurants go a step further and ban meat and almonds.
“I don’t think we should get too distracted by some cafes that may be banning it,” said Dan Crossley, executive director of Food Ethics Council, an English charity, adding that it did raise interesting and important questions on where they got their food. Avocado bans have also been implemented by restaurants in Bristol and south London.