The Problem With Avocados

Although it’s unknown to many, avocados are actually one of the healthiest foods you can eat. This is because they’re rich in fiber, monounsaturated fat, vitamin K, B vitamins, potassium and carotenoids, all of which help you fight hunger and obesity. It also has the added benefit of having avocatin B, which is a molecule that, based on numerous studies, are shown to have cancer-fighting properties.

However, a documentary back in 2018 called “Avocado – A Positive Superfood Trend?” reveals one unfortunate side to avocados: its environmental needs to grow as a plant.

This is because the avocado is a water hog, which means that each avocado requires around 70 liters of water to produce. Compare this with oranges, which only need an average of 22 liters of water to produce, and you can see just how much water it needs.

And according to the documentary, this has become a problem for regions like Chile’s Petorca province, where a lot of it is grown, and has unfortunately resulted in environmental destruction and impoverished the local farmers.

Water Scarcity in Chile

The province of Petorca in Chile has always been a dry region. However, it wasn’t until rich exporters started using massive hectares to grow avocados did the poor farmers and rural people start seeing the water they previously used dry up.

"When the big avocado firms appeared, starting around 2006, the 'green gold' they cultivated initially was seen as a potential boom for Petorca, the three-time mayor said. 'It was going to be the panacea. We were going to have a better life and better jobs,' he said ..." Petorca Mayor Gustavo Valdenegro Rubillo, who supports the local water conservation activists, said.

Unfortunately, his hands are also tied when it comes to mediating the avocado growers that are essentially stealing water from the people living in province, with these exporters even saying that they don’t plan on sharing water in times of drought.

Last year, a report stated that 106,000 animals have died from lack of water and food and about 37,000 farmers are at risk from the drought while avocado farmers in the region continue to grow, painting a grim picture of unethical agricultural practices.

avocado Avocados are known as one of the most nutrient-dense foods that could help manage weight. Pixabay