Ah, avocados. Whether you’re an avocado toast fanatic, a guacamole fiend, or an avocado oil superfan, chances are that you eat avocados. Avocado consumption in the U.S. has skyrocketed. In 2000, we consumed approximately 543 million pounds of avocados. Today, we put away a whopping 3.022 billion pounds every year. If, like me, you consume all of the delicious varieties of avocado, you may have found yourself heartbroken by the reality of the environmental impact of this delectable fruit. If this is the first time you are hearing this, I’m sorry, but I have good news!
With just two avocados creating 846.36g of CO2 emissions (in comparison to only 80 grams emitted from a serving of tofu) and 9.5 billion liters of water used to produce avocados every day, it’s important to remember that plants can leave an impact, too. However, even the impact of two avocados is nothing compared to the 15,500g of CO2 emissions from a measly 100g of beef. Still, as we work together to minimize our impact on our planet and reduce the effects of climate change, we have to look at all the sources of the largest footprints.
Arina Shokouhi, a design graduate of Central Saint Martins, saw this problem and wanted to make a difference. She pointed out that although there is a market for meat and dairy replacements that are curbing emissions, this thought process needs to include plant-based foods creating a holistically brighter future for us all. It was this need for improvement that led to the creation of the Ecovado.
The Ecovado is a planet-friendly alternative to the avocado made with foods native to the local market. With the first iteration of the Ecovado being made for the UK customer, the delicious substitute was made with whole foods such as broad beans, hazelnut, apple, and rapeseed oil. While nuts such as walnuts or chestnuts were used to mimic the pit, and the avocado skin was fashioned by using wax and food coloring.
Although the Ecovado has not yet been introduced to the market, Arina’s headstrong and creative approach to reducing the carbon footprint of our diets while still supporting our desire for delicious foods shows just what is possible. The vegan designer is excited about what the Ecovado would look like in different markets with different local foods. Local fruits and vegetables will always be the most environmentally-sound choices for our meals as these will have less distance to travel and require fewer preservatives and energy-intensive refrigeration on top of supporting our local communities.
I hope that this innovative design gets the traction and funding it needs to officially be introduced into local markets across the globe. I also hope that this helps people and businesses everywhere begin to evaluate the footprint of all of their choices and habits and not just the most impactful ones. I am so excited about the changes and progress we have made over the last decade as a society, and I cannot wait to see where creativity and passion take us next.
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Photo: Tom Mannion photography/Arina Shokouhi via Instagram