Holy Guacamole!

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Via Free-Market.net comes word that a new breed of Mexican may be soon be able to cross the United States at will: the Haas avocado.

This article, from the San Diego Union-Tribune, understandably focuses on possible effects in California.

In a strange–and darkly hilarious–echo of the human immigration debate, native farmers complain that the dusky-skinned fruits from below the border are disease-ridden and will cost real Americans jobs and income.

For the record, Mexican avocados are already allowed in over 30 states (if only for only part of the year). That small fact makes claims about California being a special case especially laughable.

But then Golden State exceptionalism is hardly anything new. And neither, sadly, is suspicion about Mexicans, whether we're talking about food, people, or trucks.

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  1. In SW Texas we have only Haas avocadas offered in our stores.I believe some of them are grown in the Rio Grande valley.

  2. “For the record, Mexican avocados are already allowed in over 30 states (if only for only part of the year). That small fact makes claims about California being a special case especially laughable”

    Nick, none of those states have avocado trees, which can only grow in very temperate climates such as So Cal. The primary reason Mexican avocados are permitted to be sold in those states is because the disease is unlikely to be transmitted to US crops.

    I’m not necessarily suggesting that growers should be protected in this fashion although I suppose that there may be some valid arguments to be made. My point is that the potential for harm is real and not imagined.

    BTW, if any avocado should be banned it should be those ghastly repulsive things from Florida.

  3. “For the record, Mexican avocados are already allowed in over 30 states (if only for only part of the year). That small fact makes claims about California being a special case especially laughable”

    Nick, none of those states have avocado trees, which can only grow in very temperate climates such as So Cal. The primary reason Mexican avocados are permitted to be sold in those states is because the disease is unlikely to be transmitted to US crops.

    I’m not necessarily suggesting that growers should be protected in this fashion although I suppose that there may be some valid arguments to be made. My point is that the potential for harm is real and not imagined.

    BTW, if any avocado should be banned it should be those ghastly repulsive things from Florida.

  4. I notice that earlier post doesn’t have any comments. Maybe you guys should hire a consultant or something…

    It looks like Gillespie thinks the California growers are lying. G. is saying the growers are at least overstating the problem.

    Can we assume then that G. thinks people sometimes lie about the effects of certain policies on their businesses?

    Can we assume that G. thinks the plaintive, decades-long wail from California growers that they need serf labor or crops will rot in the fields needs to be taken with a big grain of salt? (See ‘The Mirage of Mexican Guest Workers’ and ‘In Florida Groves, Cheap Labor Means Machines’.)

  5. They grow a lot of Avocados just north of San Diego between Escondido and Temecula. The land there is comprised of rolling mountains and is covered with gigantic boulders. Growing avocados, I suspect, is the only thing you could grow on that land.

    Avocados are so expensive. When I lived in San Diego, back in the late eighties, there was this chain of Mexican fast food restaurants named “Alberto’s” that made the largest, best tasting carne asada burrito around. Their burritos seemed to have more than two dollars worth of guacamole in them, but they only cost about two bucks! One day, the local paper, as I recall, reported that some of the people who ran Alberto’s got busted for raiding the avocado groves at night to cut their overhead.

    Now that’s thinking outside the box!

    Anyway, last I heard, there’s a division of the San Diego County’s Sheriff’s Department that does nothing but patrol the avocado groves. If that’s still true, then the people of San Diego County are getting ripped off twice; they’re paying inflated prices for avocados, and they’re paying for the protection of the groves.

    I’m a big free trade guy, really, but I could see the humour in a little turnabout here. Maybe we could use the same tactics that Mexico used in the nineties, and allow all the avocados across the border that Mexico wants to send, so long they’re all dyed red? Just for a while, you know?

  6. TWC–

    Here in South Florida, we have quite a few avocado trees, and we have Haas avocados (many with little tags saying they are from Mexico) sitting in all the grocery stores, right next to the larger, better-looking, tastier, and–naturally–far superior, Florida ones.

  7. What Chuck said.
    http://www.junglejims.com/
    is the only place around here where avocados are reasonably priced–still around a buck each.

    Nick, do you go there? It’s roughly equidistant for both of us, but not your corner grocery store for either of us.

  8. Chuck made ma laugh so hard, I nearly peed. Californias avocados a bad, but Florida’s are the worst I’ve ever tasted. I live in Texas, but I live in Florida for a year and I couldn’t stand the taste of their avocados. They should stick to oranges and leave the avocados to Mexico. I can honestly say that I’ve been to Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico and tasted the best avocados ever. A city near Uruapan, named Tacambaro also has great avocados! If anyone loves avocados as much as I do, please go down there and taste what you’ve been missing and you’ll want to bring them all.

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