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Avocado — Superfood and Environmental Killer

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Avocados have become immensely popular in the U.S., Europe and China due to their many nutritional benefits and taste
  • Each avocado requires 70 liters (18.49 gallons) of water to produce, which means the fruits can be environmentally destructive
  • In drought-prone Petorca province in Chile, avocado plantations have diverted and stolen water, causing streams to run dry and harming local people
  • Water conservation activists in Chile opposing the water theft receive threats and little government support
  • In the state of Michoacan, where 80% of Mexico’s avocados are produced, cartels have crowded into the business and terrorized local people

Avocados are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Rich in monounsaturated fat, fiber, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin E and carotenoids, they not only reduce hunger and fight obesity but also contain avocatin B, a molecule with cancer-fighting properties. Studies have found avocatin B fights acute myeloid leukemia by targeting leukemia stem cells.

But a 2018 documentary, "Avocado — A Positive Superfood Trend?," from the German public broadcast company DW, reveals a side to avocados that is underreported: environmental destruction. The super fruit that has become so popular in the last decades is a water hog.

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