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