Avocado farmers routinely victimized by organized crime

While everyone outside of Mexico is moaning about the steep cost of avocados, those living inside of the country are paying a far higher price.

From The Yucatan Times:

Every day, avocado producers are victims of robberies and lose an average of four loaded trucks of around 12 tons (26,448 pounds) during the journey from the orchards to the packing zones on the state’s highways. They ask the authorities to stop the criminal gangs, which threaten the economic activity and the lives of the workers.

When a truckload of the fatty fruit gets hijacked, instead of being compensated by insurance for the full price of what was lost, the producer and shipping company are only awarded 15 pesos--less than 80 cents--per kilogram.

According to the Yucatan Times, avocado industry representatives have pretty much said that their regional and national governments couldn't give two shits that their shipments of the fatty fruit are routinely pirated by armed, well organized criminals. Even if they did, with the nation's law enforcement agencies and military already neck deep in combating violent crime (not to mention credible claims of wide-spread corruption within their ranks), it's unclear whether what Mexico's avocado industry would like to be seen done could be done.

Given that the revenue generated by avocado production rakes in billions of dollars every year, you can bet that the trouble those associated with the industry are seeing won't disappear, anytime soon. Image via Flickr, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Read the rest

Grocer offers stoneless avocados to avoid 'avocado hand'

Upscale British supermarket chain Marks & Spencer is offering avocados without pits at their stores as a way to avoid "avocado hand," according to The Telegraph.

Surgeons said earlier this year that growing numbers of amateur chefs are reporting to accident and emergency departments with what they are calling "avocado hand"; sliced fingers and thumbs as a result of enthusiastically cutting into an avocado and the slippery pit causing the knife to slide onto the cook's hand.

These Spanish-grown fruits, which are usually reserved for top restaurants and are only available in December, are being marketed as "cocktail avocados." They can be eaten skin and all.

It seems they are not new, however. This Guardian article reports that these little avocados without pits were available in 2005 at UK grocery chain Sainsbury's. Theirs came from South Africa though, not Spain.

"It's a eureka moment in the world of avocados," said a fruit buyer, Clancy McMahon. "The stone usually takes up around a quarter of the fruit and is always difficult to remove. This way you get more avocado for your money."

The new fruit is smaller than the stoned variety, but is said to have the same nutritional composition.

"So soft is the fruit that with the top sliced off it can be eaten with a spoon, just like a boiled egg," rhapsodised Ms McMahon.

If you are near a Marks & Spencer store, they will have them available throughout the month of December for £2/pack.

photo via The Telegraph Read the rest

How to ripen a rock-hard avocado in 10 minutes

According to this video, you can ripen a avocado by wrapping it in foil and putting it in a 250 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.

[via]

Image: Shutterstock Read the rest