Avocado: Superfood and Killer of an ecosystem

Avocado in der Fabrik.jpg

Avocado exports from Chile, Peru and South Africa to Europe, destroy the seemingly agricultural balance between water and farming. So much groundwater is withdrawn from giant industry companies for the cultivation of avocados. So much that the natural balance is destroyed, very similar to that of the bottled water industry, in many parts of the world, which leave the population without their own drinking water, just as more and more water is used here Avocado continues to establish itself as an export superstar.

 This imbalance is due to the avocados enormous thirst. On average, one kilogram of tomatoes needs about 180 liters of water, one kilogram of lettuce needs about 130 liters. One kilogram of avocados consumes 1,000 liters. That means: 1,000 liters of water for two and a half avocados.   


 I read the word in a bio recipe magazine: BRAVOCADO. I thought: " Ufff ", that will only increase the problem. The problem of our generation is that social media and the consumer industry create hypes - fads. Suddenly the avocado became a superstar, a superfood, because its bright green color and smooth texture convey tasty, high-quality nutrition. Old and new followers of the organic movement swear by this avocado hype, a shock demand, and like most of these mass consumption movements somewhere on our planet, it causes overproduction and exploitation with violence against nature and against humans.

Ron Simpson's - The Avocado Show -, a popular avocado restaurant in Amsterdam, is one such example. The latest of its kind. The concept that avocado Instagram followers attracts from all over the world and line up for a fancy Avo – dish. They heavily post pictures on Instagram, avocado looting, for an Instagram generation and firmly believe in living healthier, a generation which seems not to care about the consequences to nature. Supply determines demand, that's true, but when will we understand that our social media fads, that a product is now number one on the popularity scale, are putting a lot of strain on the world and turning everything upside down?

The young Instagram influencer generation: join the Club and consume every hype.

Benjamin R. Barber book CONSUMED explains it straight: How the demands of the market’s corrupt children to consume, and infantilize adults and swallow democracies.

For example, water in the form of avocados is shipped from Chile, Peru and South Africa to Europe. Result: drought for their agriculture, the fauna dies, shortage of local drinking water resources. Avocado the mega business… In South Africa, the majority of the European avocado appetite is served under very uneven conditions. Rich Afrikaans Land Lords are collecting sums of money that the population cannot really benefit from this successful production.

For the Chia, Macha, Açai and Quinoa Yogis, the health apostles of the 21st century, the fairy tale about good avocado, the fairy tale of healthy living, which supposedly respects the ecosystem of our planet, about exploitation through price speculation by supermarket chains, is only partially known. I am health conscious and I can cook magical dishes, even in winter in the north of Germany, in the worst steppes, I can even cook on the moon if you want me to, because it is about nutrition and not about luxury food and variety? Maybe it's about exclusivity? Maybe it is about being part of the cool healthy people, expose themselves as the new age planet saving superpower people?

Do I want to Reach high scores on Instagram for posting my lunch or do I want to impress my friends when I eat spelt-avocado burgers after posting selfies from my work out in the gym? It is about life style, glorification of banal things, permanent self-expression, and therefore “consciously healthy” is bought and consumed? The utopia of a perfect life is finally a reality. It is nothing new.

For example: cooking with flour, eggs and sugar is fun as long as you will not be distracted by a health magazine, as a narrative that gluten harms ALL people. Eating should be balanced, fun and healthy, but it has to be understood that nutrition has to come back to regional and seasonal form, to eat what our countries offer. Eating should however not put a mechanism in motion that creates Third World countries, that need to toil in fruit and vegetable for our health, under inhumane living conditions.

But us, the bottled water consumption society, already involved in the dirty games of an unfair world market. The question remains: why we don't at least partially consume what our farmers cultivate in the fields? Why do we dry out countries through mass consumption and get the ingredients for our daily nutrition from so far away?

As a Chef, I belong to a guild in which we been trained the classic principles: regional, seasonal cooking. But in a world structure in the Internet age, with Uber eat apps on the phones, people want to have everything whatever this planet has to offer, they want to feel international, tropical fruits, exotic dishes and the taste of the wide world 24/7 within minutes.