Whether smashed on toast or hailed as a superfood, the avocado has taken the world by storm, but what are the environmental and social impacts of this trendy fruit?

This book does not seek to demonise the avocado and its many enthusiasts. Instead, it will illuminate consumers on the often unseen impacts of foods. A staple of cafes, restaurants, homes, and social media channels, demand for the avocado has grown exponentially over the past thirty years. From an everyday crop in South and Central America to a global phenomenon, this drastic change in demand has many consequences for people and the planet. As demand grows, so does the need for more land, with land clearances threatening habitats and biodiversity. As production grows, so does global distribution and the impacts that air and sea travel have on the environment. The shift from a local to a global product disturbs the local food system, raising serious questions around food sovereignty and food justice and the importance of establishing an agricultural system that is both environmentally and socially just. While focusing here on the avocado, this book allows readers to gain a better understanding of the food system as a whole. In doing so, it empowers us all to think carefully and critically about the environmental and ethical implications of our food choices more broadly. We shouldn’t feel guilty about eating avocados, we should simply understand the impact of doing so.

This book is essential reading for all who are interested in learning more about the food system, sustainable diets, and the relationship between farming and the environment.

chapter 1|10 pages

The American Pear

The History of the Avocado

chapter 2|9 pages

Commercially Viable

The Creation of the Hass Avocado

chapter 3|11 pages


The Nutritional Value of Avocados

chapter 4|14 pages

Avocado Toast

Social Media, Marketing, and Influence

chapter 5|10 pages

Green Gold

The Creation of NAFTA and The Resistance of US Producers

chapter 6|14 pages

Holy Guacamole

Impact of NAFTA on Mexican Food Systems

chapter 7|13 pages

New Markets

Regional Challenges to Mexico's Avocado Monopoly

chapter 8|12 pages

The High Seas

The Global Avocado Trade and Shipping

chapter 9|13 pages

Growing Orchards

Land-Use Change and Biodiversity Loss from Avocado Cultivation

chapter 10|18 pages

Embedded Water

How Avocados Impact Water and the Potential Policy Solutions

chapter 11|12 pages

Vida Campesina

Mexican Agroecology and Food Sovereignty

chapter 12|17 pages

Cartel Control

Narcotics, Criminality, and Avocados

chapter 13|10 pages

Alternative Guacamole

Shifting Consumption Patterns

chapter 14|13 pages


Certifying Avocados and the Role of Technology

chapter 15|8 pages

A New Generation

Genetics and Novel Breeding of Avocados

chapter |4 pages