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Avocado - the “fillet steak” among the fruits: a delicacy but ecologically questionable
While 30 years ago the avocado was still in a slumber in this country, hardly any food is currently being hyped like this tree fruit (botanically speaking, the avocado is a berry). They are available at any time in any supermarket and discounter, sometimes even very cheap.
First of all, the small but very effective vegan, vegetarian and raw cooking scene has spread. No wonder, after all, this rich and tasty fruit is a wonderful alternative to butter and eggs. Whether guacamole, salad ingredient, smoothie, vegan "Mousse au Chocolat" or simply classic as a spread - the fruit is versatile.
Today, the trend has also reached the broad mass of consumers: in Germany alone, avocado imports have more than tripled in the past ten years. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the import volume rose from less than 20,000 tons in 2008 to around 71,000 tons in 2017. This corresponds to a per capita consumption of over 800 grams. However, this is still significantly less than in our neighboring countries, France and the Netherlands. There per capita consumption is 1.6 or two kilograms per person per year.
Germany obtains the fruit primarily from third countries (around 50,000 tons) - mainly Peru, Chile, Israel and South Africa. Around 20,000 tons come from EU countries, especially Spain and the Netherlands.
The demand for “green gold” is also increasing worldwide. Not without ecological consequences for the growing countries of Central and South America: the farmers need larger areas to cultivate. This promotes intensive agriculture, including the use of pesticides, and leads to concentration processes and ultimately to clearing forest areas. Avocado cultivation also consumes a lot of water: about 1,000 liters of water are required for one kilogram of avocados - about 2½ fruits. This should make the avocado the frontrunner, the “fillet steak” among the fruits. In some growing areas, for example Chile, this leads to a lack of water in the regions. Organic avocados are no exception. For comparison, a kilogram of tomatoes costs around 200 liters of water.
Long transport routes to Europe in cool boxes and an elaborate padded packaging of the individual fruits also contribute to a critical ecological balance. This should not spoil your appetite for the fruit, but rather create awareness that this is a delicacy that you only treat yourself occasionally. And by the way, avocados are actually much too good for hair packs and beauty masks. Rüdiger Lobitz, resp