Bad news! The mil­len­ni­als’ must-have su­per­food funds Mex­ico’s drug lords

Sunday Express - - CRASH THAT CHANGED THE RAILWAYS - Mike Parker

BRI­TISH restau­rants are be­ing urged to re­move trendy av­o­ca­dos from their menus be­cause some of the prof­its from the so-called su­per­food are go­ing straight into the cof­fers of Mex­ico’s drug car­tels.

Fol­low­ing a se­ries of bru­tal mur­ders, kid­nap­pings and ex­tor­tion rack­ets, they have seized con­trol of some of the farms and or­chards where the savoury fruit – beloved by mil­len­ni­als for its nutri­tional con­tent – is grown.

Now ter­ri­fied farm­ers and lo­cals in the Mex­i­can state of Mi­choa­can, where more than half the coun­try’s ex­port crop is cul­ti­vated, re­fer to their prod­uct as “blood av­o­ca­dos” and es­ti­mate one car­tel alone is reap­ing as much as £150mil­lion a year from Bri­tish con­sumers.

As­ton­ish­ingly, that car­tel – Los Ca­balleros Tem­plar­ios, or Knights Tem­plar – is rak­ing in more money from av­o­ca­dos than it does from mar­i­juana, ac­cord­ing to state au­thor­i­ties.

Al­ready, one Bri­tish restau­rant has JP McMa­hon, who owns Miche­lin­starred restau­rants Aniar and Tartare in Gal­way, de­scribed av­o­ca­dos as “the blood di­a­monds of Mex­ico”, ad­ding: “Restau­rants should stop serv­ing them.

“I don’t use them be­cause of the im­pact they have on the coun­tries they are com­ing from – de­for­esta­tion in Chile and vi­o­lence in Mex­ico. They are akin to bat­tery chick­ens.” McMa­hon also urged the pub­lic to stop eat­ing them. “Change won’t hap­pen un­less con­sumers avoid them. We don’t use any in our restau­rants and there are plenty of al­ter­na­tives.

“We have Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes with hol­landaise on our brunch menu, for ex­am­ple, and there are all sorts of other op­tions for peo­ple who enjoy av­o­ca­dos.”

Some restau­ra­teurs be­lieve the av­o­cado fad has run its course. Paul Warburton, owner of Franks Can­teen in High­bury, north Lon­don, de­clared: “They’ve be­come bor­ing. Ev­ery cafe in the world sells them. Yawn.”

He also re­fuses to serve them for en­vi­ron­men­tal rea­sons, ad­ding: “It takes so much wa­ter to grow them and so many trees have to be chopped down. We try to stay sea­sonal here... and how are av­o­ca­dos sea­sonal to north Lon­don?”

In Mi­choa­can, Gover­nor Sil­vano Aure­oles Conejo has promised more state and fed­eral troops will be drafted into the re­gion to try to stamp out bru­tal turf wars over av­o­cado pro­duc­tion.

Since he was sworn into of­fice in Oc­to­ber, 2015, the state has recorded a hor­ri­fy­ing 3,369 homi­cides.

In one at­tack this month, eight mourn­ers at a funeral par­lour were shot dead, in­clud­ing a 17-year-old, sim­ply be­cause they worked for the farmer who was be­ing buried.

He had been gunned down a week ear­lier for de­fy­ing car­tel “soldiers” and re­fus­ing to hand over his land.

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