All that avocado toast the kids are so fond of these days is having a very real effect in the very country where it's long been a staple: The fruit has become so popular worldwide that these days it's impossible for many in Mexico, the world's largest producer, to afford them. International demand for avocados has risen to such high levels that a single kilogram often sells for 80 pesos, equal to Mexico's daily minimum wage, the Guardian reports. "It's a luxury," says one woman who runs a taco stand in Mexico City. Avocado exports now bring in more money to the country than petroleum, per government statistics. Avocados have become such big business, in fact, that growers in the town of Tancítaro have formed an armed vigilante group to protect themselves from criminal cartels.
While some producers claim the jump in prices is due to a 20% decrease in the crop, many experts blame international demand. For example, American consumption of avocados is growing 15% per year. Meanwhile, Mexican consumption continues to drop, even as the country remains the world's biggest per capita consumer of the fruit. Mexico is now considering importing avocados, a prospect once considered unthinkable. “It seems laughable, being able to bring in avocados from other areas at a time when we are so successful in exporting [avocados] … but we’re not ruling it out,” said economy secretary Ildefonso Guajardo.