Avocado consumption fuelling deforestation in central America

I had an Avocado for lunch, in fact I had one for dinner as well last night. It seems to be something we all increasingly use regularly in our meals, it isn’t just for hipsters and Waitrose shoppers anymore.

However, the popularity of Avocados in our diets is allegedly causing deforestation in central Mexico, according to the Guardian.

Farmers in the country, which has suffered from thousands of drug related murders in recent years, are able to make larger profits by cutting back traditional forestation and replacing the land with avocado trees.

It has been hailed as a superfood and the demand is growing in western countries, as the quest for a healthy diet become ever more popular.

Mario Tapia Vargas, a researcher at Mexico’s National Institute for Forestry, Farming and Fisheries Research, told the Associated Press: “Even where they aren’t visibly cutting down forest, there are avocados growing underneath [the pine boughs], and sooner or later they’ll cut down the pines completely.”

It has been suggested the expansion caused loss of forest land of about 1,700 acres (690 hectares) a year from 2000 through 2010.

Greenpeace Mexico said the general population are likely to suffer too from this growing industry. “Beyond the displacement of forests and the effects on water retention, the high use of agricultural chemicals and the large volumes of wood needed to pack and ship avocados are other factors that could have negative effects on the area’s environment and the wellbeing of its inhabitants,” it said.

This news will draw parallels with the palm oil industry which has been linked to deforestation, animal cruelty, habitat damage and abused to indigenous people whose land had been infringed on.

In the Palm oil business findings show that if nothing changes species like the orangutan could become extinct in the wild within the next 5-10 years, and Sumatran tigers less than 3 years.

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