Avo­caDON’T! Trendy cafes ban su­per­food ‘that’s killing planet’

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By An­drew Young and Karen Kay

WHETHER served with a squeeze of lemon or spread on sour­dough toast, it’s the de­li­cious ‘su­per­food’ that’s be­come a sta­ple of trendy cafes up and down the coun­try.

But av­o­ca­dos are be­ing dropped from the menu be­cause of fears that their in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity is not so good for the health of the planet.

One cafe owner has led the back­lash, say­ing she will no longer sell av­o­ca­dos be­cause they dam­age the en­vi­ron­ment and even en­rich crim­i­nal car­tels.

Katy Brill’s dish of two poached eggs and wa­ter­cress hol­landaise with avo­cado on toasted brioche or sour­dough – priced at £8.50 – was the most pop­u­lar item on her menu at the Wild Straw­berry cafe near Prest­wood in Buck­ing­hamshire.

But hav­ing reg­u­larly served up to a thou­sand av­o­ca­dos a week, she has now taken them off the menu in the cafe she runs in a yurt along­side her fam­ily’s farm shop at Peter­ley Manor Farm.

In a post on In­sta­gram she wrote: ‘Dear cus­tomers, we have some news for you. As of to­day, we will no longer be serv­ing avo­cado in the yurt. This is not a joke.

‘ Con­tro­ver­sial? Ab­so­lutely. . . We’re as ac­quainted as the next per­son with our weekly in­take of smashed avo­cado toast but this is some­thing we have thought long and hard about.’

Giv­ing her rea­sons, she ex­plained: ‘Food miles. It doesn’t take a ge­nius to work out that food tastes bet­ter when it hasn’t been flown 5,000 miles.’ She added: ‘Sus­tain­abil­ity. The West­ern world’s ob­ses­sion with avo­cado has been plac­ing un­prece­dented de­mand on avo­cado farm­ers, push­ing up prices to the point where there are even re­ports of Mex­i­can drug car­tels con­trol­ling lu­cra­tive ex­ports.’

She has now re­placed avo­cado with sauteed gar­lic mush­rooms.

Ms Brill, 30, told The Mail on Sun­day: ‘It may turn out to be the worst busi­ness de­ci­sion I have ever made – but at the mo­ment my cus­tomers sup­port me.’

Ear­lier this year, Tin­can Cof­fee cafe in Bris­tol dropped avo­cado, re­plac­ing it with pea gua­camole made with peas, onion, gar­lic and chilli. As­sis­tant man­ager Davey Gibbs, 32, said: ‘We felt av­o­ca­dos didn’t fit in with our core be­liefs about sus­tain­abil­ity. We want to re­duce our im­pact any way we can.’

And in the Lon­don hip­ster en­clave of Peck­ham, the Wild­flower veg­e­tar­ian restau­rant has joined the ban.

Chef Joseph Ryan said he was dis­turbed by re­ports of killings af t er Mex­i­can gang­sters got in­volved in the lu­cra­tive trade.

Mr Ryan said: ‘To be hon­est, I also think we might just be en­ter­ing a post-avo­cado era.’

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