Things That Matter

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

Avocados, much like the feminine form, come in all different shapes and sizes. Most people’s perception of produce is limited to what we see in the supermarket, but avocados are just as diverse as Latinidad. This week, people on the internet are losing their minds over a little known, slender, meter-long avocado known as the “long neck.” Just to be clear, 1 meter is about 3.3 feet. Now that’s more bang for your buck and lord knows we need it with these babies. 

Avocados have become the luxury fruit of millennials coping with the existential dread of President Trumpito, climate change, stagnated wages, and expensive healthcare. Sure an entire Avocado is $1.99 and an entire loaf of bread is $4.99, but the world is ending so who cares if I spend $15.00 on avocado toast? Guacamole is extra? Everything is extra, my guy! It’s 2019 if I want to fill my tub with hundreds of avocados and bathe in their robust omega fatty acids while the world implodes, don’t judge me. We may never pay off our student loans, but at least we have avocados. 

These long neck avocados are popping.

When Miami Fruit shared a photograph of a massive, long neck avocado on Facebook, users were stunned by its unusual appearance. However, the Facebook page assured their following that the avocados were locally popping. 

“The avocados are popping off right now,” they wrote. “South Florida farmers grow dozens of unique varieties not common in any other part of the mainland USA.” 

She’s organic and GMO-free, baby! 

Long neck avocados, also known as Pura Vida avocados, are grown in Miami but they aren’t typically sold commercially. South Florida is home to about 50 different kinds of avocados. (but I find it problematic that not one is shaped like an exact replica of Celia Cruz). Farmers grow long necks organically and without any genetic modifications. That means mother nature made these puppies grow over three feet, not science. 

The hearty gourd is originally from Nicaragua and their seeds are coveted all over the world. 

According to Miami Fruit, folks “even travel the world looking for seeds to bring back to the states to try to grow. This variety, in particular, originated in Nicaragua and is now grown small scale here in South Florida by fruit enthusiasts.”

Yes, you can buy these even if you don’t live in Miami. 

For a cool $47.00 – $197.00 you can buy an entire box of these avocados. If you’re cringing at the price, the boxes range from 3 to 45 pounds. Hey, it’s a bargain if you ask me, that’s the cost of half a slice of avocado toast here in New York City. 

Yes, supermarkets have a diversity issue!

While there are literally hundreds of different kinds of avocados, Hass avocados are overrepresented in supermarkets. According to the USDA, they make up roughly 95 percent of the market.

Let’s keep it 100 for a second.

Avocados are delicious as hell, and as Latinx people, they’re often a staple in our cultures. The United States relies heavily on avocados imported from Mexico. Nearly 80 percent of the avocados we eat come from south of the border. According to Reuters, in April, within a week of the Trump administration’s threat to shut down the Mexican border, as an immigration and asylum deterrent, avocado prices surged 50 percent. Moreover, the cruelty of the immigration policy itself hurts Latinx farmers and laborers domestically. Nearly half of all farmworkers in the United States are undocumented according to the Department of Labor. Farmers are now grappling with labor shortages due to this country’s legacy of racist immigration policies. With threats of ICE raids targeting anyone who looks Latinx, I wouldn’t show up for work either. 

Each time you eat an avocado, it is likely that a Mexican or Latinx person worked on the farm it came from. All of the things we take for granted were willed into existence by someone somewhere. Too often that person is exploited, oppressed, underpaid, and brown. So yeah, let’s talk about how dope avocados are, but let’s not forget about the people who made them that way. 

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