Is the Avocado Toast Obsession Causing This Bizarre Crime Wave?

Think hard next time you smear that avocado onto a slice of bread.

Avocado toast is amazing. It’s delicious. It’s good for you. And not to be hella basic, but it Instagrams beautifully. Now, it may even be causing a crime spike, as avocado thieves steal bunches of the stone fruit to resell at lower prices.

Or at least that’s one theory NPR is floating to explain the bizarre spike in avocado thefts currently happening around New Zealand. Avocado toast has become an extremely popular dish in the small island nation and in Australian cafes, with NPR also reporting that many Aussies even believe they invented the beloved treat (which, ok, kind of seems like claiming you invented putting chocolate syrup on ice cream).

Gizmodo reports that the insatiable appetite for avocados led to an additional 96,000 households in the country buying them in the last year alone. This newfound love, coupled with recent heavy rains, has led to a nightmarish scenario for residents: a shortage that's causing the cost of avocados to skyrocket.

Earlier this year the price of a single avocado was as high as $7 (while currently it fluctuates between $4-6). This price increase, coupled with overwhelming demand, has led to a rise in avocado-related thefts. Since January alone there have been more than 40 large-scale heists, with as many as 350 avocados being nabbed in one go.

350 avocados at $7 a pop = a lotta guacamole.

Farmers are discovering that thieves are actually jumping fences to pluck fruit from avocado trees, or scooping fallen fruit from the ground, in order to turn around and sell to markets and pop-ups at prices that undercut the market. In response many New Zealand farmers have begun to upgrade the security they use to protect their precious produce.

All this is to say, the next time you turn around to photograph that #avocadotoast you’re enjoying for breakfast, remember two things:

1)    Culinary obsessions can lead to some dangerous and unintended outcomes.

2)    Boosting the contrast just a touch will really make the green pop.

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