Culture

Avocado Hand Is Sending People To The ER In Record Numbers And Abuelas Everywhere Are Left Asking Why

First, avocados were blamed for preventing millennials from buying homes. Then they were used as fake grenades in bank robberies. Now they’re responsible for thousands of emergency room visits each year – victims of so-called avocado hand. You may not have heard of this medical condition, but you or someone you know has almost certainly been affected by it.

Meryl Streep may have been the first known victim. But a new report tells us that there are thousands just like her out there. Thousands of clueless people who are just to eager to dig into that tasty avocado.

Yes, avocado hand is real and it’s sending thousands of people to the emergency room each year.

Yes, folks, it’s true. Approximately 8,900 emergency room visits in 2018 could be directly tied to avocados. Researchers came to that conclusion after finding 152 mentions of avocados in the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s national injury database, which covers 96 hospitals, and then asking the agency to extrapolate that information to estimate the number of ER visits nationwide.

Nearly all of those visits were due to lacerations and injuries to hands and fingers, caused while cutting avocados — although there was at least one instance of someone slipping off of a stool while picking avocados as well.

According to an analysis by Insider, over 70% of the injuries were sustained by women, and, in cases where race was reported, 80% of injuries were sustained by white people. The oldest person to visit the ER for an avocado-related laceration was 75, and the youngest was 8. Most of those hurt by avocados were, in fact, millennials. 

“A lot of times folks will try to remove the avocado pit with a carving knife or have their fingers wrapped around the avocado while they’re cutting. Both of those techniques could lead to a bad cut and a trip to the ER,” Joe Galbo, the CPSC’s social media specialist, told INSIDER.

Like think about that for a second. People are ruining their avocado toast and going to the ER on a daily basis.

The US’s estimated 8,900 avocado-related hospital visits in 2018 would equate to more than 160 per week, and approximately 24 per day nationwide. Come on people! Are you serious?

And, well, those of us who grew up eating avocado are just left like…WTF?

Yes, exactly. That’s the exact look I had when I heard about this so-called avocado hand epidemic.

And if we thought things were bad enough here in the US, they’re even worse across the pond in the UK.

Avocados have been deemed a danger to the public before. In 2017, British reports described an epidemic of “avocado hand” after London surgeons told The Times that they were treating a growing number of patients who had accidentally sliced into their hands while cutting avocados at home.

Also, apparently people in the UK call seeds stones and like…why?!

Renowned British chef Jamie Oliver is even getting in on the what we thought was common sense PSA.

Staff at a London hospital have reportedly become accustomed to the “post-brunch surge”, while the affliction even claimed the high-profile hands of Meryl Streep seven years ago.

Twitter is just full of people posting their shameful, dangerous injuries caused by this luscious fruit.

This is absolutely real. Just hop on Twitter for yourself and you will see literally thousands of examples. There’s even a webpage dedicated to graphic images of the injury and a relevant hashtag (#avocadohand).

OK, so admittedly not everyone grew up eating avocados so I can kind of see how people may not know how to properly cut an avocado.

But still…why would you slam a knife into something that is in the middle of your hand? Like you don’t do that. That’s just common sense!

And because of how common the injury is, Twitter is also full of people offering up tips on how to enjoy an avocado – safely.

So how do you not become a statistic? The gist of it is as follows: Place the avocado on a cutting board, and slice it on the diameter, turning as you go. Then rotate it 90 degrees, and make the exact same cut, turning the avocado as you slice it around the center. The avocado naturally falls apart into even wedges at this point, and you can remove the pit with your hand—no knife required.

And, apparently, there’s even a helpful new tool for those who are still totally clueless.

A group of schoolchildren in Brighton College in the United Kingdom, the Telegraph reported on Wednesday, may have found yet another fix. It’s an instrument called the “Avogo,” a hooked blade cast from pewter.

You jut the blade directly into the top of the fruit, searing its skin and flesh as your hand circumnavigates the surface. You take the two halves apart and then affix the hook to the stone, removing the seed from the cavity as you pull the fruit away from your body.

Sounds kind of complicated but, hey, safety first!

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The Cartels In Mexico Are Taking Over The Avocado Industry By Any Means Necessary

Culture

The Cartels In Mexico Are Taking Over The Avocado Industry By Any Means Necessary

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Mexico has always been plagued with violence, but the new government under Andrés Manuel López Obrador implied things would be different. The violence in Mexico seems to be getting worse. One minute the cartel is blocking authorities from arresting El Chapo’s son, and the next, an entire family is ambushed and killed. The cartels in Mexico do not seem to be slowing down one bit. Now it looks like they are taking over the avocado industry. 

A group in Mexico that goes by the Viagras cartel is illegally taking over land in order to plant avocado trees.

Credit: @Faby_Nava77 / Twitter

According to reports by the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press, a small group of armed people known as the Viagras cartel is infiltrating parts of Mexico. They are allegedly taking land that is not there’s, and that is, in some areas, protected land, and setting up avocado trees in order to produce avocados and sell them. 

“The threat is constant and from all sides,” Jose Maria Ayala Montero told the Los Angeles Times. According to the outlet, Ayala Montero works “for a trade association that formed its own vigilante army to protect growers.”

Local police are attempting to do something about it, but they basically have their hands tied

“They’ve done everything – extortions, protection payments. They’ve flown drones over us,” a local police chief told the AP. “They come in and want to set up (drug) laboratories in the orchards.”

The tension is not just coming from the Viagras cartel that wants to set up shop on land that is not theirs, but also from rival gangs that also want a piece of the multibillion-dollar pie. 

Credit: katelinthicum / Instagram

According to reports, in the state of Michoacan alone, the avocado export business brought revenue of $2.4 billion last year. We always knew avocados were hot, but not that kind of hot.  

“If it wasn’t for avocados, I would have to leave to find work, maybe go to the United States or somewhere else,” Pedro de la Guante said to the AP. De la Guante makes a good earning as a guard for a small avocado orchard. 

The demand for this coveted fruit has been growing considerably in the last decade. As the Associated Press reports, “It was only in 1997 that the U.S. lifted a ban on Mexican avocados that had been in place since 1914 to prevent a range of weevils, scabs, and pests from entering U.S. orchards.”

Here is why avocados in Mexico are in such high demand.

Credit: Unsplash

Aside from avocados being people’s favorite indulgent e.g., guacamole, avocado toast, it’s actually tough to grow avocados. Mexico’s temperatures make it ideal for growing avocados compared to anywhere else in the world. 

According to SFGate Home Guide, Mexican avocados “contain the highest oil content and taste the creamiest,” while avocados from the West Indies “have the least amount of oil but grow to the largest size. Now, Guatemalan avocados are also ideal because they are a combination of both Mexico and the West Indies. So according to that methodology, Mexico’s avocados seem to be the healthiest kind to eat. 

Lastly, Mexico’s weather is perfect for growing avocados because they “stand up to the coldest winter temperatures.” So you can see why there’s so much demand to get those Mexican fruits.  

People definitely have feelings over the violence and illegal tactics of the cartel who look to get those avocados by any means necessary.

Credit: @Eeeeeeemonster / Twitter

If the cartels succeed in hijacking the avocado industry in Mexico, it won’t be long till some of the avocados bought will benefit and fund the cartels.

The fight over avocados speaks to a larger issue of the food industry and how it’s affecting not just the economy but sustainability and the environment.  

Credit: @tsalagip / Twitter

While the cartels might be vying for the “green gold,” the matter of taking over land that does not belong to them and using it illegally on protected land shows how dangerous these tactics are hurting people’s lives and the environment. 

The fighting seems to be taking over all industries.

Credit: @elizabethgilcel / Twitter

It’s not just about drugs at all. 

How will the government deal with this issue if they can’t even handle the violence over drugs?

Credit: @brianeha / Twitter

If government agencies in the U.S. or in Mexico stop trade because of the illegal means to export avocados, it could have a drastic effect.

READ:  Apparently There Are Three Feet Long Avocados Called Long Necks And Like Please Take All My Money

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40 Thousand Pounds Of Avocados Fell To Their Deaths In A Texas Truck Accident

Culture

40 Thousand Pounds Of Avocados Fell To Their Deaths In A Texas Truck Accident

@ciboloPD / Twitter

We all know how expensive avocados have become so some news out of Texas is really upsetting for hipsters and abuelitas across the country. Interstate 10 in central Texas was closed for several hours while officials cleaned up 40,000 pounds of avocados, which, sadly, did not make it to our homes to be far more lovingly smashed into guacamole. According to the Cibolo Police Department, two trucks collided, and Satan allowed for the empty truck to remain upright, while precious cargo was senselessly sacrificed without cause.

On this Day of the Dead, we would be remiss if we did not include the collective mourning Twitter is experiencing from this great loss. No humans died, by the way.

If our rudimentary calculations are correct, that means 106,666.66 avocados met their end on the side of the interstate.

Credit: @TamarahBryan / Twitter

According to Live Science, a single Hass avocado weighs about 6 ounces. With 16 ounces per pound, 40,000 pounds is equivalent to 640,000 ounces. Divide those ounces by the average weight of an avocado. The exact calculation is 106,666.66667 avocados lost.

The road was closed for 13 hours after the accident.

Credit: @ciboloPD / Twitter

The Cibolo Police Department alerted its residents via social media, saying “At 12:41am, two truck tractor-semi trailers were involved in a major accident. A box trailer full of avocados overturned causing the cargo box to tear open. Several thousand avocados littered the Eastbound lanes of IH-10 at mile marker 599. The second involved big rig was a tanker which remained upright. IH-10 eastbound is currently still closed pending scene clean up. Traffic is being diverted off the main lanes at mile marker 599 and can re-enter at mile marker 600. We will update when the eastbound interstate is back opened. Expect several more hours before complete.”

While their message was all business, their hashtags seemed to reflect that they don’t understand the holiness of avocados: “#fiberhighway #pitsinpits #hearthealthy #whynotdonuts.” My question exactly. Why not Donuts?

Once traffic opened up, the police department joked to “#GuacInPeace.”

Credit: Cibolo Police Department / Facebook

The Texas Department of Transportation arranged for crews to clean up the Interstate. Nobody knows what happened to the avocados. They have either been disappeared or else the local dump has become a gold mine. Don’t act like you’re not above eating avocados that have touched the road. #NoAvoLeftBehind

Some folks left joking comments on the Police Department’s Facebook requesting exact GPS coordinates to “help” with the cleanup. A witness of the tragedy commented, “I drove past the aftermath. What a tragic waste of good avocados gone to guacamole smeared all over the highway. :<“

Thankfully, no humans died, though two were seriously injured and transported to the hospital.

Credit: @racsiv27 / Twitter

“Two occupants, to include the avocado truck driver, were transported by EMS from the scene in stable condition. A third vehicle, a passenger van, was also involved and driven from the scene,” Cibolo Police Department’s Matt Schima told CNN.

Many folks were concerned that the incident would further raise the already increasing cost of avocados. One Javier Chaparro commented, “Seriously!?!? Does the driver know how expensive they are!?!? Wth!?” Someone else guessed, “That’s like, 10 million dollars worth of avocado.” Someone else joked that they were going to “::runs to pick up avocados::” before the prices skyrocket. It’s too soon to say how this accident will affect the daily lives of local Tejanos.

When struck with tragedy, this woman turned pain into haiku.

Credit: @Jessjones327 / Twitter

The unimaginative half of Twitter is taking the opportunity to exclaim “Holy Guacamole!,” but we know there was nothing holy about this incident. We applaud you, Jess Jones, for not saying “Holy guacamole!” Sometimes, a simple heartfelt emoji will do the trick. Moe’s Southwest Grill even replied to a news report of the incident on Twitter with a simple “????.”

On this Day of the Dead, we mourn the loss of 26,666.666 family-sized guacamoles that might have lived on at the foot of an ofrenda.

Credit: Cibolo Police Department / Facebook

Or… y’know. In us. Again, note the number of “666”s. This was the loss of an otherwise holy celebration of family, culture, and the coveted avocado, increasingly being held in our hearts and wallets as a Golden Goose Egg. Tejanos, stay vigilant. Maybe follow your local Police Department so we make sure these avocados get into the right hands, Avocado forbid, there be a next time.

READ: California Is Fighting Off 14 Fires Across The State Claiming Thousands Of Acres And Displacing Thousands Of People

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