Think Progress is warning of a pending guacamole-crisis fueled by climate change:
It’s your choice, America. Fix the climate, or the guac gets it.
Chipotle Inc. is warning investors that extreme weather events “associated with global climate change” might eventually affect the availability of some of its ingredients. If availability is limited, prices will rise — and Chipotle isn’t sure it’s willing to pay.
“Increasing weather volatility or other long-term changes in global weather patterns, including any changes associated with global climate change, could have a significant impact on the price or availability of some of our ingredients,” the popular chain, whose Sofritas vegan tofu dish recently went national, said in its annual report released last month. “In the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients we may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.”
Chipotle did say that it recognizes the pain it (and its devotees) would have to go through if it decided to suspend a menu item. “Any such changes to our available menu may negatively impact our restaurant traffic and comparable restaurant sales, and could also have an adverse impact on our brand,” the filing read.
The guacamole operation at Chipotle is massive. The company uses, on average, 97,000 pounds of avocado every day to make its guac — which adds up to 35.4 million pounds of avocados every year. And while the avocado industry is fine at the moment, scientists are anticipating drier conditions due to climate change, which may have negative effects on California’s crop. Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for example, predict hotter temps will cause a 40 percent drop in California‘s avocado production over the next 32 years.
“Fix the climate, or the guac gets it,” however, just isn’t true. The language Think Progress quoted is from the risk factors (page 13) in Chipotle’s annual report. I e-mailed Chipotle for a comment and here’s what thy said:
. . .with regard to the Think Progress post and the 10-K note that inspired it, I wouldn’t read too much into that.
We use fresh ingredients, and things like weather or climate can impact upon supply of those ingredients. We are required to disclose issues that could present risks to our business – like supply constraints or higher food costs – and we are very thorough in making those disclosures.
With regard to avocados, we saw similar issues in 2011 and incurred higher prices for the avocados we used, but never stopped serving guacamole.
This is nothing more than routine “risk factor” disclosure.
In other words, Think Progess is full of it.
I should also note that Chipotle uses avocados from Mexico and Chile when avocados from California are not in season. For many Chipotle restaurants, this means there’s no such thing as a locally grown avocado – ever. So, unless Think Progress has invented a new form of carbon-free transportation, the very supply of avocados from California, Mexico, and Chile to Chipotle’s restaurants around the country is contributing to the climate change that Think Progress believes is a risk to their beloved guacamole.
If Think Progress really wanted to be honest and true to their alarmism, they’d call for a guacamole boycott or a carbon tax on avocado shipments.
Note: A side-story to all of this is the criminal element involved with Mexico’s exportation of avocados to America. At the end of January, the WSJ ran this excellent piece titled, “The Violent Gang Wars Behind Your Super Bowl Guacamole.” It’s paywall’d, but I posted a long excerpt up on The Feed:
Four of every five avocados sold in the U.S. originate in Tancítaro’s home state of Michoacán, the only Mexican state certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to export avocados, mostly the creamy, dip-friendly Hass variety that locals here call “oro verde” or green gold.
Michoacán, which last year exported more than 500,000 tons of avocado to the U.S., expects a $1 billion haul in 2014. Tancítaro alone produced 157,000 tons last year, said Jose Ayala, a local agricultural official, “more than any other municipality in the world.”
Some say the fruit was tainted. “They are ‘blood avocados,’ ” said Raul Benitez, a security expert at UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico In Mexico City. “They are the Mexican equivalent of the conflict diamonds that are sold from war-torn parts of Africa.”
What is it with the American Left that climate change always seems to be the biggest part of any story? Whether it’s John Kerry calling climate change WMD or Think Progress ignoring how America’s taste for avocados fuels “extortion, kidnapping, rape and homicide,” the climate-change alarmists are increasingly willfully blind to the horrors of the world today as they prophesy a dystopian future for a slightly warmer Earth.