News & Politics

Guacamole Armageddon! Border Shutdown Would Lead to Shortage of Avocados

Donald Trump has been blamed for many things: colluding with Russia to win the election, obstructing justice for firing FBI Director James Comey, making illegal payments to shut up a porn star about an affair, ripping immigrant families apart, and being a meany to Democrats.

But all of that pales in comparison to what will happen if Trump shuts the border with Mexico, as he is threatening to do this week. The U.S. is heavily dependent on Mexican fruits and vegetables to maintain a steady supply of produce during the winter months. If the president closes our southern border, the resulting shortages would be nothing short of catastrophic.

For example, within three weeks of a border shutdown, the U.S. would run out of avocados.


From avocado toast to margaritas, the United States is heavily reliant on Mexican imports of fruit, vegetables and alcohol to meet consumer demand. Nearly half of all imported U.S. vegetables and 40 percent of imported fruit are grown in Mexico, according to the latest data from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Americans would run out of avocados in three weeks if imports from Mexico were stopped, said Steve Barnard, president and chief executive of Mission Produce, the largest distributor and grower of avocados in the world.

“You couldn’t pick a worse time of year because Mexico supplies virtually 100 percent of the avocados in the U.S. right now. California is just starting and they have a very small crop, but they’re not relevant right now and won’t be for another month or so,” said Barnard.

This guacamole Armageddon would cause a public health crisis in America. Have you ever seen anyone going through avocado withdrawal? Gruesome. And think of the economic impact of a loss of guacamole. You’re not just talking about an inability to make homemade dip, but the tortilla chip industry would be in dire straits.

The moment that Trump declares the border closed, there will be an avocado rush on grocery stores and fruit stands across America that would make the gold rush of 1849 look like a coffee klatch (no avocado toast!).

I’d suggest hoarding avocados but it’s not certain Trump will close the border. If he doesn’t, you might get stuck with 500 lbs. of overpriced fruit rapidly going bad. But if he does, those avocados might be worth their weight in gold.

I can think of a few other reasons why we shouldn’t close the border. Other industries would suffer as well and short supplies mean higher prices. But if it gets Mexico off its ass to do more to stop the tens of thousands of people that traverse the entire length of their country just to show up at America’s border, then the inconvenience and high prices might be worth it.