We’ve seen no shortage of food shortage talk recently. Chocolate, olive oil and coffee are just a few of the items that have been rumored to be in dwindling supply in 2014. Now, a truly terrifying prospect: a possible avocado shortage.
About 95 percent of the avocados grown in the United States come from California. But growing the delicious, um, fruit (right?) is water-intensive. Modern Farmer states, “It takes 74 gallons of water to produce a pound of avocados, significantly more than peaches, lettuce or strawberries.” The result: drought-stricken farmers in the southern part of the Golden State “are letting their fields go fallow in the light of rising water and fertilizer prices and an influx of cheaper fruit from other countries.”
Unfortunately, however, other countries don’t necessarily have the means to keep up with demand. Mexico, which recently drove a lime shortage after drug cartels decided to get involved with the citrus trade, is seeing similar issues when it comes to moving avocados. Gangs can “control every part of the avocado operation, from production to distribution.” Chile, another producer, is battling a drought of its own.
Even burrito giant Chipotle had floated an avocado contingency plan earlier this year. At this point, it seems like any trendy food could be the next to go. Maybe it’s time to fall in love with something less trendy. Lima beans, anyone?