Stop the presses.
Earlier today, Jessica Koslow, chef of the L.A. restaurant Sqirl, posted the following on her Instagram:
We have removed avocados from our menu for the next couple of weeks. They are not currently in season at the market and our voracious appetite for them means we must choose between purchasing avocados from undesired sources with potential unsavory consequences or not having them at all. So, they're off the menu. We are playing with new dishes that can take the place of this great ingredient. It's the right thing to do. See you soon friends. ✌🏼️: @lowehouse
From the caption:
[Avocados] are not currently in season at the market and our voracious appetite for them means we must choose between purchasing avocados from undesired sources with potential unsavory consequences or not having them at all. So, they're off the menu. We are playing with new dishes that can take the place of this great ingredient. It's the right thing to do.
Gasps were heard ‘round the world. NO AVOCADOS? NO AVOCADO TOAST?! The horror.
Being an East Coaster, New Yorker, and Brooklynite, I’m not lucky enough to have access to locally grown avocados like Jessica and Sqirl. But like most card carrying members of the millennial generation, I do love myself some avocado toast.
In fact, nearly every weekday morning for the last three years I’ve had the exact same thing for breakfast: a quarter or half of an avocado smashed on a piece of wheat toast with a soft boiled egg perched on top. (And for the interested, my magic soft-boiled number? 6 minutes and 45 seconds).
I’ve gotten to be quite the avocado scout: I have four different grocery stores and vegetable stands I check in my neighborhood on Saturday mornings, sussing out the ‘cados that will yield the perfect ripeness by Monday. But in the last month or so I’ve noticed a serious lack of avocados worth buying. They’re either mush or hard as rocks.
And they’re upwards of 3 dollars a piece. Yikes.
So what gives? According to the San Antonio Express News, “a growers’ strike in the southern Mexican state of Michoacán in recent weeks put avocados in short supply.” The strike was between growers and packing companies, with growers asserting that they weren’t getting the compensation they deserved. Workers blocked roads so trucks couldn’t make the trip north into the United States. The strike has ended, but prices will take a while to normalize.
But what’s more, the growing demand for avocados, roughly 75% of which are imported from Mexico, has grave consequences on the environment. The New York Times published an article just three days ago with the headline “Mexico: Deforestation for Avocados Much Higher Than Thought.” Here's what it states:
Experts say a mature avocado orchard uses almost twice as much water as fairly dense forest, meaning less water reaches Michoacan's legendary crystalline mountain streams on which trees and animals in the forests depend... Mexico's National Institute for Forestry, Farming and Fisheries Research had previously estimated the loss of forest land to avocado planting at about 1,700 acres (690 hectares) a year from 2000 through 2010.
It’s easy to be oblivious—to feast willy-nilly on avocados just because I want to. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve turned a blind eye to an agricultural practice I had a feeling wasn’t the most ethical or environmentally-friendly. So what’s a girl to do when trying to kick her avocado toast habit? What is there to look forward to in the morning? What will get me out of bed?
My replacement du jour: Fake Huevos Rancheros (official name).
- 1 corn tortilla
- 1-2 eggs
- shredded cheese of your choosing
- sour cream
- Tapatio hot sauce
Once you get the hang of it, this entire process can take you less than 10 minutes. And if you’re me, less than 2 minutes to eat.
I barely miss my avocado toast.
Are you an avocado toast addict? Will you stop eating them now that the season's over? Tell us in the comments.