Alan Titchmarsh says he avoids avocados because of climate impact

The TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh has said he refuses to eat avocados for breakfast because of their “enormous carbon footprint” and much prefers Shreddies.

Writing in Gardeners’ World magazine, Titchmarsh said he could not bear the idea of “forcing” down the “insipid” fruit first thing in the morning, before suggesting that he believed it should be boycotted on environmental grounds.

“It seems there is a great movement towards smashed avocado on sourdough bread. I can’t think of anything more insipid to force down my neck at the crack of dawn,” he wrote.

“And then there are the environmental considerations,” he went on. “I cannot reconcile myself to eating avocados and contributing to the enormous carbon footprint involved in shipping them across the ocean to my breakfast table, not to mention the wholesale destruction of the rainforest to create such plantations. No, avocado is a non-starter for me.”

It isn’t the first time Titchmarsh has spoken on the environment. In 2019 he told the same magazine that it would be “hypocritical” for green campaigners to criticise governments and celebrities for not doing enough to fight climate change while continuing to do things such as block-paving their gardens, buying imported out-of-season fruits, and eating avocados.

According to the Sustainable Food Trust, growing a single avocado requires up to 320 litres of water, with demand in the global north fuelling the export of the green fruits over long distances and their growth on expansive farms in central and South America.

Rather than eating avocados for breakfast, the 72-year-old broadcaster said that, despite it not being very filling, he was a “devoted Shreddies fan”. Though he believes Weetabix is better at fuelling a busy day in the garden, he said he could only manage three, and was blown away when his youngest daughter, Camilla, ate six.

“I am a devoted Shreddies fan, but their boast of keeping hunger locked up until lunchtime is optimistic if you plan to be energetic in the spade and fork department,” he wrote.

“Weetabix then? Yes. But how many? When my youngest daughter was at primary school her personal best at breakfast time was six. Six! And she was a tiny little thing. Still is surprising. My own personal best is three, and that does seem to do the trick until coffee time.”

Titchmarsh added that he longs to come downstairs one morning and discover a boiled kipper or some finely crafted kedgeree for his delectation and delight. “Kedgeree! Now there’s a proper breakfast.”

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