For The Sake of Food Security and The Climate, It’s Time To Get Over Our Avocado Snobbery
By Ranuka Tandan
It’s no secret that I’ve bought more than my fair share of avocadoes in my time. It’s also not hard to believe that like other millennials, I’ve come to the horrifying realisation that I’m a massive Hass avocado snob.
However, scrolling through my Facebook feed recently, I stumbled upon this comment made by a friend of mine that halted me in my tracks
‘Honestly, nothing warms my soul more than a Hass avocado. Shepard avos are the leading cause of millennial depression.’
The leading cause of millennial depression.
My first thought was ‘wow, I can relate.’ My second was ‘yikes, she’s being sort of serious.’ My third: ‘oh dear, in the relatively near future we probably won’t be able to buy avocadoes at all, or any other nice kinds of fruit and vegetables that aren’t in season because we will have destroyed the world’s climate and agriculture and the only things we’ll be able to eat will be nutrient deficient grains and beans.’
So maybe that wasn’t the exact third thought that came into my mind, but it didn’t take long for my thoughts to wind down that rabbit hole and arrive at a very bleak image of the future.
This image is the leading cause of millennial depression. Not that Hass avocadoes go out of season for a small portion of the year, but that we face a future saturated by issues far bigger than not being able to make avocado smash.
Dwindling food and water security is just one effect of climate change, but it’s a terrifying one. The 2019 Global Report on Food Crises, released earlier this month, calculated that in 2018, there were 29 million acutely food-insecure people across 26 climate-affected countries.
When Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique a couple of months ago, I knew that the intensity of the storm was linked to climate change, but I didn’t expect the cholera outbreak that followed. Yesterday, the health ministry confirmed that there are more than 1000 confirmed cases of cholera, which is contracted by consuming contaminated food and water.
Climate change affects food security in so many ways. Temperature rises, flooding and drought affect our crops immensely, but we often don’t realise, because as such a wealthy country, we can afford to source fruit and vegetables from other places, and buy them anyway.
By contrast, poor countries have been suffering the effects of climate-related disasters for decades. While climate disasters around the world are prohibiting access to uncontaminated food and water for millions, wealthy countries like Australia continue to be the largest emissions producers, and as we’ve seen, the smallest contributors towards action.
We’re not going to be immune forever. But will we just start to care when it actually does affect us? When we can no longer buy fresh fruit and vegetables? When a dodgy crop sneaks into our stores, and a whole lot of people get sick?
As millennials, we know how important climate action is. We hear it, read it and talk about it all the time. Our line to politicians is ‘this is our future, we should have a say’. But it’s the present as well. It’s time to stop being snobs about Shepherd avocadoes. We have to care about the influence of climate-impacted food security for everyone, not just for ourselves.