An Avocado Shortage Is Looming, Here's What You Need to Know
In an age of numerous food shortages, avocados may be next on the list of items that are in short supply. While other recent food shortages have been related to things like supply chain issues, severe weather, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the looming avocado crisis has to do with tensions between the United States and Mexico, which exports more than 100,000 tons of avocados to America per month.
According to a recent statement from Mexico's Agriculture Ministry, the U.S. has temporarily suspended avocado imports from Michoacan—a state in western Mexico—after an American inspection officer received a threatening call to his official cell phone. Though the exact nature of the call is unknown, the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) decided to pause all avocado inspection procedures while the threat is being assessed. An investigation is currently underway.
Michoacan is the only state in Mexico that's authorized to export avocados to the United States, so even a momentary pause in inspections can create significant issues in the supply chain. Typically, each avocado coming from Mexico is evaluated, and then shipped to the U.S. to be packaged once it is approved. Since the United States also grows avocados, this inspection process is crucial. Designated American inspectors work in Mexico to ensure that the exported avocados aren't carrying diseases or pests that may harm U.S. crops.
While the United States and Mexican governments are currently working together to restore avocado imports, it's unknown how long this ban, which went into effect hours before the Super Bowl, will remain in place. And while the ban means no avocados from Mexico will be allowed into the country, it also has an impact on the green fruits that are already in America, which could in turn impact your guacamole and avocado toast. With the supply in flux, even for a brief period of time, avocado prices may rise because each one is now more valuable than before.
In the event that a full-blown avocado shortage does play out, or if avocados become too expensive for some, we've come up with a list of avocado toast alternatives that taste just as good as the beloved breakfast staple.
Avocado Toast Alternatives
No avocados? No problem. Keep reading for several avocado toast alternatives that will make you forget all about the green fruits.