How Do We Protect Avocados From Drought, Deforestation, and Drug Cartels?

The avocado industry faces high water demand, deforestation, and violence as becomes more popular. How does this relate to climate change?



What's your favorite thing to put avocados on?

Avocados are rising in popularity fast. Over the past two decades, consumption of avocados in the United States tripled to more than eight pounds per person per year. Unfortunately, the avocado industry is up against several challenges, from high water demand to deforestation to extortion and violence at the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Today, we explore what issues avocados face, how climate change may exacerbate some of them, and how to improve the production of this beloved, valuable fruit. With special guest Dr. Roman Grüter: Research Associate at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences’ Geography of Food Research Group.

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at

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Writers: Ysabel Wulfing, Maddy Schmidt, Ethan Brown

Editor: Will Andronico

Producers: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano

Ad Voiceover: Naomi Rubin

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.



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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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