Scientists predict avocado shortage coming down the road

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) - A dire prediction for guacamole lovers.

Avocados are already in short supply because of an ongoing drought in California, and scientists say climate change could greatly reduce avocado production in the future.

The kitchen at San Francisco's Chilango restaurant is full of fresh organic produce, which is now a lot more expensive because of California's drought.

"We're concerned about avocados, limes and tomatoes," manager Ernesto Juarez said. "We know the world is changing and we make our best effort to get them."

Juarez said the star of the kitchen: avocados, which is transformed nightly into an amazing guacamole.

The guacamole here is an organic specialty but scientists say avocados could be hard to come by in the next 10-20 years because of climate change, which could knock this specialty right off the menu.

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab predict climate change will bring hotter weather and cause a 40 percent drop in California avocado production over the next three decades.

Chipotle is paying close attention. For a company which uses 35 million pounds of avocados every year, it's warning investors that could mean higher prices -- even the end of guacamole sales here.

David joseph likes his chipotle guacamole, and he's not alone.

"For a corporation like Chipotle to threaten to cease guacamole sales would be a shortsighted business decision," Joseph said.

For now the owners of Chilango restaurants say they'll keep buying avocados for their special guacamole -- as long as the price allows.


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