Our Love For Avocados Is Seriously Hurting The World's Forests

Avocado lovers, don’t freak, but…you might need to put down your best fruit friend indefinitely (or at least REALLY slow down the consumption of it).

In recent years, the avocado has seen a boom after being marketed as a superfood packed with "good fats." People now regularly enjoy avocados beyond just guacamole—it’s taken over breakfast and beauty treatments alike. Millennials, perhaps the most health conscious generation in history, are avocado-obsessed. But unfortunately, this love has contributed to the worst kind of environmental hurt: deforestation.

Because of the recent boom, Mexican farmers find the fruit is more profitable than other crops, leading them to increase their production of the fruit. But to keep up with demand, they're cutting down pine and fir forests. As these trees and avocado trees share similar growing conditions, the forests are a prime target as farmers look to increase production. Not only that, but these forests are the natural habitat of the monarch butterfly—a species that's rapidly losing its resting place. The Guardian also reports this deforestation might also be linked to the narcotics trade as farmers pay gangs to help avoid authority and subsequent prosecution.

However, this isn’t the first time a superfood craze has caused trouble for the native regions and consumers. Quinoa came under scrutiny as it gained popularity as well. As popularity grew, the price doubled and those who relied on it as their native grain could no longer afford it. It’s not even the first time avocados have been blamed for trouble. In 2011, the fruit was blamed for the Chilean drought.

So I’m sorry avocados, but I really love butterflies...time to put down my favorite snack.