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Clean-eating emergency: the Guardian turns on avocados

Oh dear. First the Guardian declared tea drinkers to possess ‘the worst possible English trait, up there with colonialism‘ and HP sauce to be the condiment of the establishment. Then the paper’s food section took things up a gear by describing barbecues as simply borderline-racist and street parties to be ‘a front for a middle-class nationalism that celebrates austerity’.

Now they have turned on their own. Yes, just as French scribe Jacques Mallet du Pan said, the revolution has devoured its children. In the latest bit of food advice from the Grauniad, the paper calls out hipsters for eating avocado toast, the trendy brunch staple. In a piece — titled ‘Can hipsters stomach the unpalatable truth about avocado toast?’ — a writer by the name of Joanna Blythman argues that although avocado is a firm favourite of lefties, we now have a ‘clean-eating emergency’ on our hands. The issue? Reports claim mass appetite for the fruit is ‘indirectly fuelling illegal deforestation and environmental degradation’:

‘The problem is created by the fact that it’s now theoretically more profitable for Mexican farmers to grow avocados than most other crops. So much so that in Michoacán, the state that produces most of the country’s avocados and arguably the world’s avocado capital, growers are ignoring the law and thinning out mature pine forest to plant young avocado trees instead.’

Blytham says it is just not good enough to simply make sure your avocados aren’t from Mexico — even though the majority to Britain aren’t anyway — as ‘we know pitifully little about the environmental and working conditions of faceless people in faraway places who grow fruit for our tables’. While her reasoning could be used to ban the majority of foods from the dinner table, happily there is still one okay vegetable out there — for now:

‘The popularity of kale, for instance, makes all-round sense.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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