Photo Credit: Arina Shokouhi
Avocado has become one of the most traded foods in the world today and is more commonly known on the international market as “green gold.” Due to the many uses of its constituent parts, it has grown in popularity. Over eleven billion pounds of avocados are purchased annually by consumers, according to the World Economic Forum.
This is a reliable sign that the avocado business is booming. However, while the market for avocados is booming, the environment is suffering. This is one drawback of cultivating avocados. Growers must use a minimum of 2,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of avocados. In parallel, businesses must remove forests as demand rises to create room for avocado farms. These two reasons have persuaded a London researcher to develop a novel strategy for reducing the requirement to grow avocados.
Researcher and designer Arina Shokouhi created an eco-friendly avocado. By introducing her novel product, which she named the “Ecovocado,” Shokouhi seeks to persuade customers to purchase fewer “actual avocadoes” in the market, taking into account their production’s damaging effects on the environment.
“It can be actually a positive solution, and we should just embrace it because we know that we can’t carry on living like this,” stated Shokouhi.
What is the Ecovocado
At first sight, consumers have difficulty telling the Ecovocado from a genuine avocado. Beeswax and natural food coloring created from spinach and charcoal powders are used to produce the product, which resembles the appearance of avocado skin.
In order to closely resemble the flavor and appearance of an authentic avocado, the meat for the Ecovocado is carefully chosen. The Ecovocado meat is made up of wide beans, apples, cold-pressed rapeseed oil, and a hazelnut garnish claims the product’s manufacturer. Shokouhi utilized a whole hazelnut or chestnut as the pit.
The end result of Shokouhi’s Material Futures master’s degree program at Central Saint Martins is the product. At the University of Nottingham, she worked with Jack Wallman, a food scientist. After researching the molecular characteristics of avocados, Wallman accompanied Shokouhi in completing the Ecovocado. The procedure, according to the researchers, was laborious and took them close to eight months to accomplish.
“(The) choice of ingredients was very limited, to begin with, because I want it to be 100% local. That was my first priority,” Shokouhi added.
In earlier recipes, ingredients like broccoli and garden peas were taken into account. However, she had to dismiss it because the ingredients did not taste good. The idea came from Shokouhi’s desire to employ primarily locally produced goods in his recipes. Broad beans were chosen as their crop because they are simple to grow and are produced in large quantities in the UK each year (740,000 metric tons are harvested.
The outcome had a harsh flavor at first. However, balancing the ingredients required some time. According to Wallman and Shokouhi, coming up with the ideal avocado replacement is hard.
Ecovocado might not be a practical substitute
Ecovocado is a very innovative product. Others in the profession, nevertheless, perceive the product as having drawbacks. For example, Dr. Wayne Martindale, an associate professor of food insights and sustainability at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, believes that the Ecovocado may not be a practical substitute for an avocado.
The qualities of natural avocado byproducts that can be utilized to make cutlery, lubricants, and other important items are taken into consideration by Dr. Martindale. Additionally, he stated that authorities’ moderation should be the main emphasis of the environmental concern surrounding the avocado trade rather than the production method.
Shokouhi prays that people will still think about Ecovocado despite this.
“The taste maybe is not 100% exactly like avocado, but that doesn’t matter as an alternative as long as you can have it on your sourdough, and it tastes good, and it looks the same, and it’s healthy,” said Shokouhi.