Green Gold: Why Avocados Are So Expensive & Where to Get Them Cheaper

avocado

We all remember the frenzy of the avocado toast trend in 2016; the green gold was in high demand and as an unfortunate consequence the price of avocados seemed to skyrocket overnight. Even worse, the price hasn’t seemed to come down again, even with avocados now being seemingly in abundance on supermarket shelves. But why are avocados still so expensive, and is there any way to satisfy your craving for the avocados without blowing your budget? Thanks to Harmony Avs, there may be hope for budget-conscious avocado fans in South Africa.

It’s true, these days avocados have all but achieved celebrity status. But, paying R70 for 2 small ripe-and-ready-to-eat avocados at South Africa’s big-name grocery stores still seems somewhat ludicrous to me. I’m not saying it won’t be worth it; it’s widely accepted that avocados are one of the most delicious fruits on earth. Both creamy and filling, they instantly elevate a bland salad or a dry sandwich to juicy perfection. But, don’t you think you should be able to indulge in the moreish superfruit as often as you’d like, rather than feeling like it’s an expensive treat to be enjoyed only once in a while?

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Today, it’s so easy to transport food long distances, that we take it for granted that we can eat fresh cherries in January or enjoy a mielie on the braai all year round. But, as convenient as it is to have year-round access to whatever fruits and vegetables you want, this type of uninterrupted access comes at a high price. Many of the avocados South Africans are seeing on supermarket shelves right now are imported Hass avocados, which explains their astronomical price tag.

Enough small talk, tell me how I can get avocados for less!

Luckily I’ve got the inside scoop on how you can get your avocado fix at a much more affordable price. The best way to get avocados for a cheaper price is seasonal eating. Ok, fine, it’s less of an inside scoop and more of a well-known approach to healthy eating. It’s a well-known fact that buying in-season produce costs much less. So, if you’re obsessed with avocados and want to eat more of them without paying hugely inflated prices, then you’re best off enjoying avocados when they are in season.

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Eating your favourite fruit when it is more readily available locally will save you money in the long run because it didn’t have to be flown from halfway across the world to reach your table. Fresh seasonal fruit that is grown locally is good for the planet too because it is delivered via a reduced environmental footprint while helping to support the local farmer who provides the best quality avs available at the time — exactly as nature intended.

But, fortunately for you, dear reader, this doesn’t mean you can only enjoy avocados during certain months of the year. Thanks to Harmony Avs, nature is always in season! With a range of 12 varietals of avocados that ripen at different times of the year, Harmony Avs makes it possible for South Africans to have locally grown avocados all the time and at any time!

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An avo for all seasons

While South African consumers are mostly familiar with the Hass and Fuerte varietals of avocado, ZZ2 is now releasing ten other varietals so that consumers may buy locally grown produce while it is in season. They have the added benefits of supporting their local market, knowing where their food comes from and knowing that it has not travelled far to reach them. ZZ2 has planted trees at various altitudes which come into season at different times.

By implementing the principles of ZZ2’s Natuurboerdery and working holistically with nature, and with the elements of sunlight, water and soil, ZZ2 has nurtured the trees in terms of their welfare as well and that of the environment (for example, beehives in the orchards) to yield the resulting range of ZZ2 Harmony Avs that are now available for in-season consumption in South Africa.

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The 12 Harmony Avs varieties available include: Hass, Maluma Hass, Lamb Hass, Fuerte, Pinkerton, Ettinger, Ryan, Galil, Edranol, Itzamna. Simmonds, and Shepard. Rather excitingly, each of the 12 Harmony Avs varietals in South Africa offer a unique flavour profile for you to enjoy. In October, Harmony Avs fans can enjoy the delicious flavours of Hass and Lamb Hass avocados grown right here in South Africa.

All the Hass family avocados offer a creamy, nutty flavour profile. They’re also less watery and easier to scoop than other varieties of avocados, making them ideal for making guacamole or even whipping into a vegan ‘chocolate’ mousse. Lamb Hass avocados are larger than the common Hass variety and are easy to peel. They have a pear or oval shape, distinguished from Hass avocados by their flat, squared shoulders.

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Ripen your avs at home

While eating seasonally and locally is the best way to find the most affordable avocados in South Africa, the key to saving money on avocados is all about learning how to store and ripen your avocados at home. If you’re looking to save money when buying avocados, then you will need to avoid the supermarket fridge. It may be more convenient to buy the ripe-and-ready avocados from the store fridge, but ripening your avocados at home can save you money in the long run.

Pre-ripe avocados are less expensive than ready-to-eat options and ripening them yourself at home means you can enjoy them for longer and ensure you always have an avocado on hand when you need it, rather than having to rush out to the shops to buy an av every time a craving hits. If you’re not interested in reducing your avocado consumption then it’s time to master the art of avocado storage at home.

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Avocados can ripen extremely quickly, so you will need to have a clear tactic in mind and plan your meals accordingly. Before beginning the ripening process, first test the ripeness of the avocado by examining the colour of its skin, stem, and softness. Gently pull on the stem; if it feels tight and doesn’t tumble off easily, then the avocado is not ready to eat. If the stem falls off easily and is a yellowish-green underneath the stem, then it is perfectly ripe and ready to eat.

Ripe avocados should be stored in the fridge, and open avocados can be hit with a sprinkle of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar on the flesh to keep it from going brown. Store any unripe avocados in brown paper bags in a cool, dry and dark place to ripen. The brown paper bag will help to trap the ethylene gas that ripens the avocado and speed up ripening time. The avocados should take 2-5 days to ripen in this way. To further increase the ripening time, add fruits like a banana, apple, or tomato to the brown paper bag. The additional fruit will speed up the ripening process to about 1 – 3 days.

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Where to buy Harmony Avs

While there may be many other brands on the market offering the convenience of avocados all year round, with Harmony Avs, you can be assured you’re still eating seasonally and locally. Supporting local farmers and producers is the best way consumers can help to grow the South African economy and support the creation of jobs.

Plus, eating what is available and grown locally helps to create a sense of harmony with the world around you, while also delivering the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The next time you’re choosing your avs at your local grocery store, choose to live #TheHarmonyWay with Harmony Avs. What’s more, Harmony Avs takes it one step further by supplying small independent grocery shops rather than mass retailers with its ‘limited-edition’ Harmony Avs for avocado lovers.

You can find Harmony Avs at these small local stockists in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Harmony Avs

Boost your health before the silly season

Now that you know how to save money when buying avocados and the tricks of how to ripen them at home, it’s time to stock up on avs and give your health a boost with all the goodness avocados can provide. The silly season is almost upon us, so why not get ready for the holiday season by eating healthily and boosting your immune system in preparation for the festive season?

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats and have a unique nutrition profile. The fruit is also high in antioxidants and is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E, and vitamin C. For this reason, it is not surprising to see that avocados have numerous health benefits. Research has linked eating avocados with various health benefits, such as a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. What’s more, eating avocados has also been shown to help lower cholesterol and even assist in weight loss, due to their highly satiating properties.

To learn more about the beauty of avocados and how to live #TheHarmonyWay visit the Harmony Avs website here

ZZ2 Afrikado Harmony Avs

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