April 01, 2019
There’s one very serious (OK, not-so-serious) side effect of President Donald Trump’s threat to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border that healthy eaters might be overlooking: an avocado shortage.
It’s no secret that the United States imports fruit, vegetables and alcohol from Mexico to meet consumer demand. In fact, about half of all imported U.S. vegetables and 40 percent of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture, Reuters reports.
Arguably, the biggest hit Americans would take — in terms of produce — would be in our avocado stock. Reportedly, we would run out of avocados in three weeks if imports from Mexico were stopped, Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world, told Reuters:
“You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100 percent of the avocados in the U.S. right now. California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they’re not relevant right now and won’t be for another month or so,” said Barnard.
Avocados — which are counterintuitively a fruit — are prized for their high nutrient value (think: healthy fats, vitamins and fiber) and is added to various dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture, according to Healthline. They are popular with American consumers in the form of guacamole.
Of course, there's more serious things going on than an — albeit heartbreaking — avocado shortage.
The Guardian reported:
The U.S. and Mexico trade about $1.7 billion in goods daily, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which said closing the border would be “an unmitigated economic debacle” that could threaten five million American jobs.
According to Reuters, the closure would also impact the import of tomatoes, cucumbers, blackberries and raspberries.
Trump said Friday there was a “very good likelihood” he would close the border this week if Mexico did not take action to halt immigrants from reaching the United States.