British restaurants are urged to REMOVE avocados from their menus because profits from the trendy superfood are funding Mexican drug lords
- Drug cartels have seized control of avocado orchards and farms in Michoacan
- Knights Templar makes around £150million per year selling ‘blood avocados’
- Restaurants and cafes across UK now urging each other to stop serving the fruit
British restaurants have been urged to remove avocados from their menus because profits from the superfood could be funding Mexican drug cartels.
Drug bosses have seized control of farms and orchards where the fruit is grown following a spate of violence in Michoacan, west Mexico.
It is estimated one of the area’s most prominent cartels, Knights Templar, earns more than £150million a year by selling these ‘blood avocados’ to British buyers.
Drug bosses have seized control of avocado farms and orchards following a spate of violence in Michoacan, west Mexico
This is makes the fruit far more profitable then marijuana, the Sunday Express reported.
Last week, a Michelin-starred chef pleaded with the public to stop eating what he called ‘blood diamonds of Mexico’.
JP McMahon, who owns restaurants Aniar and Tartare, told the Irish Independent that food outlets ‘should stop serving them’.
He said: ‘Change won’t happen unless consumers avoid them. We don’t use any in our restaurants. There are plenty of alternatives.
‘I don’t use them because of the impact they have on the countries that they are coming from – deforestation in Chile, violence in Mexico. For me, they are akin to battery chickens.’
The Wild Strawberry cafe in Buckinghamshire, which previously served 1000 avocados per week, has also banned the savoury fruit.
Last week, Michelin-starred chef JP McMahon pleaded with the public to stop eating what he called ‘blood diamonds of Mexico’
In an Instagram post last week, cafe owner Katy Brill confirmed she will no longer sell avocados because they damage the environment and enrich criminal cartels.
She said: ‘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.’
The post also said ‘extensive farming’ of the fruit was adding to greenhouse emissions and placing pressure on local water supplies.
Ms Brill, whose £8.50 avocado on toast dish was her most popular, has now replaced the fruit with sauteed garlic mushrooms.
The self-imposed ban wasn’t welcome news to everyone, with television Kirstie Allsopp tweeting ‘WTF!’
The Wildflower vegetarian restaurant in Peckham, London has also joined the ban.
Chef Joseph Ryan said he was disturbed by reports of killings after 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.’
But these calls for a British avocado ban haven’t been warmly received by everyone.
Television presenter Kirstie Allsopp tweeted: ‘WTF! I’m expected to give up avocados, but no one dares say it might be a good idea to give up drugs!’
Another Twitter user called for Strictly Come Dancing star Stacey Dooley to investigate the connection
Another user, Sean, said: ‘My first thought on the avocados thing was “Well, how bad are drug cartels really?”‘
A third called for Strictly Come Dancing star Stacey Dooley to investigate the fruit’s connection with Mexican drug cartels.
The governor of Michoacan, Silvano Aureoles Conejo, has promised more state and federal troops will be dispatched to try and stamp out turf wars over avocado production.
Michoacan, where avocados are known locally as ‘green gold’, is the world’s top producer of the food – with hot weather and volcanic soil providing the ideal climate for growth.