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Ecovado could be a greener alternative to 'green gold'

(CNN)Avocados, often referred to as "green gold," have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. According to the World Economic Forum, worldwide he consumes 11 billion pounds of fruit each year.

But our love of avocados comes at a high cost to the environment: about 2,000 liters of water are used to grow just one kilogram of avocado. However,forests will be cleared to make room foravocado trees.

That's why London-based researcher and designer Alina Shokowhi decided to develop an eco-friendly alternative to avocados. Nicknamed "Eco Bud," she hopes consumers will think twice before slicing fruit for breakfast toast or making their next guacamole. This could actually be a positive solution, we know we can't continue living like this, so we have to accept it," Shokouhi said.

"Green" Design

At first glance, Ecovado is indistinguishable from the real thing. Her Ecovado peel, made with beeswax and natural food coloring containing spinach and charcoal powder, mimics the skin of an avocado. The alternative fruit flesh is made with four simple ingredients: fava beans for the base, fresh apples, creamy cold-pressed rapeseed oil, and a sprinkle of hazelnuts.Whole chestnuts or hazelnuts are used for the pits.

Ecovado was developed as part of Shokouhi's Master's Degree in Material Futures at his Martins School of Art in Central St. Coming up with the concept at the end of the year, she worked with University of Nottingham food scientist Jack Wollman to study the molecular properties of avocados to understand what causes their creamy texture. It took her eight months to perfect the recipe, Shokouhi says.

Creating a sustainable and appealing avocado substitute has been a challenge.

“From the beginning, I had a very limited choice of ingredients because I wanted to be 100% locally sourced. That was my number one priority,” says Shokouhi. He added that he calls it the "British" version.

Shokohui wanted Evocado to provide the health and environmental benefits of eating locally sourced ingredients.
Peas and broccoli were early recipe candidates, but local production was low, she says, Shokouhi. Faba beans, also known as broad beans, form the basis of ecobud,and are relatively easy to growandaround 740,000 tonnes are harvested each year in the UK.

But broad beans are molecularly different from avocados, she says, and its "bitter smell" is hard to mask.

Avocado cutlery

Focus on local ingredients and emphasize a plant-based diet. Sustainable food production is key to reducing carbon emissions, but sustainable food production also intersects with complex issues such as land use, ethical sourcing and workers' rights, and the University of Lincoln, UK. says Wayne Martindale, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Food Insights and Sustainability at .

Advances in data collection and blockchain technology over the past decade have made it easier to track and record various aspects of food production, he said. Martindale cites the Responsible Commodities Facility adopted in 2021 as an effort to grow deforestation-free soybeans in Brazil. This certification provides assurance to customers and at the same time brings economic benefits to farmers.

Martindale believes avocados can do the same because "people want to know they are grown on responsibly managed land."

His team is investigating uses for avocado by-products, such as recyclable cutlery made from avocado seeds and oils from the skin and pulp for use in lubricants and food. increase.

Martindale believes moderation, rather than excluding imported fruits and vegetables entirely, is a step in the right direction. Shokouhi's Ecovado shows "incredible creativity," he says, but it's questionable whether the product can scale to become a viable alternative to importing avocados.

Since graduation, Shokouhi's products have attracted the interest of potential investors, she says. She's still perfecting her Ecovado, but hopes it will eventually sell in supermarkets for as much as a real avocado. Shokouhi has also experimented with Japanese edamame, and the idea of ​​producing her Ecovado in other countries using a variety of local ingredients in the future has piqued her interest.

She hopes the skeptics will give her Evocado a chance.

"The taste probably isn't 100 percent similar to avocado for her," she says Shokouhi. same and healthy.