Avocados: an environmental disaster. Here’s a water friendly alternative: peas on toast.
Avocados: an environmental disaster.
One avocado requires 275 litres of water to produce.
High demand for avocados is indirectly fuelling illegal deforestation and environmental degradation.
Bring back the trusted pea for an environmentally and socially friendly alternative.
Peas are grown within the UK : have a less far to travel and require less water.
SPOTLIGHT ON AVOCADOS:
Avocado toast has been smothered all over our Instagram feeds for months. Don’t get me wrong avocadoes are banging! The hipster craze is easy to stomach, until the reality is known.
Avocado trees are very thirsty.
It’s time to know the facts:
One avocado requires up to 320 litres of water to produce. The thirst of avocados puts strain on local water resources. From the parts of Chile an average of 1,280 litres of applied fresh water are needed to produce one kilogram of avocados, which means that about 320 litres of applied water are needed grow one avocado.
To produce a kilogram of tomatoes requires 63 kilograms of applied fresh water, meaning that 5 litres of applied water are needed to grow each tomato.
The high demand for avocados is indirectly fuelling illegal deforestation and environmental degradation.
Avocado plantations need repeated cycles of chemical that leach into the water system.
The lucrative trade is increasingly controlled by a drug cartel known as the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) – so not only is an avocado taking Mexican’s water but much of the revenue goes to criminals.
But fear not. There is something as good, if not better in my opinion. Let me introduce you to peas on toast.
An alternative to the thirsty avocado: Pea puree on toast.
It’s clear that our desire for avocado on toast has some implications. So here’s a low water use, environmentally and socially friendly alternative.
It’s time for the trusted pea to make a come back. Puree it with herbs of your choice. Some of my favourites are basil, parsley or thyme.
Pea & Basil Puree on Rye Bread
- A few slices of rye bread
- 1 cup of peas
- Half a lemon
- Chilli flakes
- Olive oil
1. Cook the peas for a few minutes
2. Toast the rye bread
3. Blend the peas, basil, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper together
4. Place the puree on toast. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some chilli flakes over it.
Not only is it a lower fat option, it is environmentally superior. It requires less water, less transportation, helps stop the illegal deforestation of rainforests and doesn’t fuel drug cartels in the world.
Now you know what will you do?
Next time you reach for an avocado. Stop. Think. And go find some mighty peas.
Sources: Water Footprint Network, WHO and The Guardian