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  • Avocado has become one of the world's trendiest foods.

  • As the poster child of millennial healthy eating,

  • this superfood is now a mainstay for foodies everywhere.

  • But have you noticed your avo on toast

  • is costing more and more?

  • Avocado prices have rocketed in recent years by up to 129%,

  • with the average national price of a single Hass avocado

  • reaching $2.10 in 2019, almost doubling in just one year.

  • So, why are avocados so expensive?

  • Archaeologists in Peru have found domesticated avocado seeds

  • buried with Incan mummies dating back to 750 BC.

  • But it was the Aztecs in 500 BC who named it āhuacatl,

  • which translates to "testicle."

  • When Spanish conquistadors swept through Mexico

  • and Central America in the 16th century,

  • they renamed it aguacate.

  • The farming of aguacate developed

  • over the next few hundred years,

  • predominantly in Central America and South America.

  • But consumption of the "alligator pear"

  • outside of these regions before the late 19th century

  • was almost nonexistent.

  • The commercialization of aguacate began in the early 1900s

  • but was focused on branding avocados as a delicacy

  • for the wealthy, like this advert in The New Yorker

  • from 1920, which declared them as

  • "The aristocrat of salad fruit."

  • But a selection of Californian growers realized

  • that the hard-to-pronounce aguacate was off-putting

  • for the mass market, so they formed

  • the California Avocado Association.

  • By the 1950s, production scale grew,

  • and avocado prices fell to about 25 cents each.

  • Popularity increased further with the wave

  • of inter-American immigration in the '60s,

  • as Latin Americans brought their love of avocados

  • with them to the US.

  • But as demand increased, supply had to keep up,

  • and the true difficulties of yielding large-scale

  • avocado crops began to show.

  • Avocado orchards require an extraordinary amount

  • of costly resources in order to flourish.

  • Gus Gunderson: There are multiple inputs

  • that avocados require,

  • whether it's water, fertilizer, pruning, pest control,

  • the sunburn protection of trees.

  • All those go into making your chances better

  • of having a very good-quality crop.

  • When we decide to plant an avocado orchard,

  • we'll plant trees that come from certified nurseries.

  • We have to place our orders years in advance.

  • On average, if we're producing 100,000 pounds per acre,

  • that takes about a million gallons of water,

  • so 100 gallons per pound,

  • so it'd be about 50 gallons per 8-ounce fruit.

  • But that's dependent on what mother nature

  • will throw at you, you know, we have wind,

  • we have intense sun.

  • It's really hard for a grower to manage

  • the unmanageable things that will affect a crop.

  • Narrator: The surge in popularity of avocados

  • stalled during the fat-fighting frenzy of the 1980s,

  • with an average of only 1 pound per capita

  • being consumed in America by 1989.

  • The decade's low-fat obsession drove consumers

  • away from avocado because of its high fat content,

  • without really understanding

  • the nutritional truth hidden within.

  • Hazel Wallace: When it comes to fat in food in general,

  • people tend to get a little bit concerned

  • because we often hear in the media

  • that fat isn't good for us.

  • But the type of fat that's in avocados

  • is monounsaturated fat, which is actually often deemed

  • healthy fat or heart-healthy fat,

  • so while there is a lot of fat in avocados,

  • it's actually quite good fat.

  • Avocado started its meteoric comeback

  • at the turn of the millennium, and it was helped

  • by an unlikely political decision.

  • In 2005, the US Department of Agriculture

  • lifted a 90-year-old ban to allow the importation

  • of Mexican avocados to all 50 states.

  • Initially, this decision angered Californian growers,

  • who feared the move could slash local growers' sales

  • by as much as 20%.

  • What actually had transpired and took place

  • was, as that Mexican supply became much more

  • prevalent and available, retailers got behind

  • marketing and selling avocados,

  • food service providers, restaurants started putting it

  • as permanent parts of their menus,

  • and demand started to boom

  • because the inconsistent supply chains before

  • were now consistent, and consumers were allowed

  • to enjoy avocados every day of the year.

  • Narrator: The biggest day of the avocado calendar

  • became Super Bowl Sunday, when it's now estimated

  • that almost 200 million pounds of avocados

  • are eaten during the big game in America.

  • But if you take a moment to consider

  • the resources needed to produce that amount,

  • you can start to understand avocados' elevated prices.

  • According to experts, it takes roughly 270 liters of water

  • to grow a pound of avocados.

  • So 200 million pounds could require

  • as much as 54 billion liters of water,

  • which means droughts or heat waves can have

  • devastating consequences on the avocado industry.

  • In fact, that's exactly what's been happening in California

  • for the last seven years, with the Sunshine State

  • only recently being declared drought-free in 2019,

  • which goes a long way to explaining record avocado prices.

  • In some countries, like Chile, avocado cultivation

  • is being blamed for exacerbating droughts,

  • as lush green orchards overlook dry riverbeds.

  • Perhaps the biggest reason for avocados' rise to dominance

  • is the emergence of the clean-eating lifestyle.

  • No longer just a chip dip for special occasions,

  • this superfood can be found in a plethora of recipes

  • in cafés and restaurants everywhere around the world.

  • And those who are eating them are really keen

  • for you to know about it.

  • Just type #avocado into Instagram, and you'll be hit

  • with over 10 million search results.

  • But is the glorification of avocado justified?

  • There's quite a big hype around avocados,

  • but it actually is quite justified when it comes

  • to how nutrient-dense this food is.

  • There's not many foods that actually replicate it

  • in terms of a nutritional profile.

  • When it comes to calling something a superfood,

  • I'm not really for that label.

  • Avocados are definitely a good food

  • to include in your diet, but like I said,

  • you're not really missing out if you don't like them

  • or if you can't eat them for any reason.

  • Monounsaturated fats, we can find that in things

  • like olive oil and olive, nuts, and seeds.

  • The vitamins and minerals, we can find that

  • in other green vegetables, so spinach and broccoli

  • and things like that.

  • So there's ways of getting those nutrients in

  • without having avocado.

  • All of this produce requires

  • an astonishing amount of labor.

  • Even once grown, pruned, and picked,

  • avocados need costly distribution methods

  • in order to be delivered fresh and ripe

  • to far-flung corners of the world.

  • If you're living in Philadelphia, right?

  • You wanna buy a ripe avocado in Philadelphia?

  • What they do is they ship green avocados

  • from California to Philadelphia,

  • they send them to the ripening center,

  • they warm them up and get ethylene in them,

  • so they all ripen, and then,

  • when they're moved out to the retail stores,

  • you're actually buying something

  • that's almost ready to eat or ready to eat.

  • Cause if you were to buy a green avocado that's shipped

  • straight from California to your market,

  • you would have to ripen it yourself

  • over a seven- to 10-day period,

  • and most consumers are a little more anxious

  • for their avocado toast than waiting 10 days. [laughs]

  • Narrator: With prices so high, the commodity of avocados

  • has attracted a spate of thefts from orchards

  • and delivery trucks worldwide.

  • In New Zealand, armed night patrols and electric fences

  • have been introduced after a grower in Northland

  • had 70% of his orchard stolen.

  • There's even further grim reading for avocado lovers.

  • In Michoacán, where 80% of Mexico's avocados originate,

  • cartels run a so-called "blood avocado" trade,

  • violently enforcing a nonnegotiable extortion fee

  • from farmers based on the size of their land

  • and the weight of their crop.

  • Some restaurants have begun an avocado boycott,

  • as we all weigh the ethics behind our eating habits.

  • Experts suggest that water shortages

  • could affect 5 billion people by 2050,

  • and rainfall in the so-called drought belt,

  • which includes Mexico and South America,

  • is predicted to decline.

  • But whilst evidence of environmental degradation

  • is mounting, the avocado industry is still growing

  • along with consumer demand.

  • In certain places, the sustainability of avocado production

  • will become untenable.

Avocado has become one of the world's trendiest foods.

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アボカドが高価な理由|高価な理由 (Why Avocados Are So Expensive | So Expensive)

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    Fiona Chen に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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