The avocado’s biggest problem is the amount of water it consumes. According to Danwatch – An Independent Danish Media , each avocado required 320 liters of water.
For comparison, a global average of 110 litres of applied fresh water are needed to produce a kilogram of oranges, so each orange requires about 22 litres of applied water.
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.
Human beings, on the other hand, require on average between 50 and 100 litres of water to meet their most basic daily needs, according to the World Health Organisation.
The avocado tree is thirsty and very slow when it comes to give its first fruits. In a wet and rainy region of the world, this wouldn’t be as problematic.
But this doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to foods we love. What we need is measure and information as in everything.
We should consider that it’s not simply avocado on itself that is damaging our eco-system, but our high and unregulated demand on an all-year-around craving which didn’t encounter adequate, effective and protective policies at the production end.
Sources: Danwatch, Water Footprint Network and WHO
Photograph: Alejandro Duarte