For those who are outside the Australian Eastern Seaboard media sphere, demography commentator Bernard Salt argued that if Millennials stopped spending money on overpriced avocado mashed up on toast in cafes, they would be able to afford to by a home in the overheated capital city real estate market.
Desperate for ANY story not related to the worst American Election in history, the article has been jumped on by outraged avo lovers, slightly irked economists and bemused bloggers and has blown into a proper, teacup-sized tempest that has filled my Facebook feed with pictures of said smashed avo on toast.
I’m going to add to the cohort of bemused bloggers because, 1) I have a PhD to procrastinate from and 2) I feel like I have a unique perspective to add to this debate.
I HATE avocado.
It’s bland, slime-like in texture and green. It looks like a whole lotta elephant snot piled up on toast and why would you do that to perfectly good toast?
I can’t stand the stuff, with one very limited exception – my (highly praised) guacamole recipe that includes a metric-sh*t-ton of lemon, lime, tobasco, mayonnaise, diced onion, capsicum and just enough avocado to give it the signature green colour.
I hate avocado, I have NEVER ordered smashed avo at any cafe in Sydney at brunch or at any other time. I am the perfect controlled variable in this social experiment on ‘The effect of regular purchase of smashed avocado on millennial’s ability to afford a house in Sydney or Melbourne.’
Guess what. I can’t afford a to buy a house. I’ve had to make significant salary sacrifices to pursue my dream career in academia. Even when I was working full time, my annual income was well below the average and smashed avo had nothing to do with it.
Avocado is a gross fruit to eat that I would only resort to if the alternative was starvation. Why anyone would think to mash it up and smear it on lovely sourdough bread is beyond me, but my entire generation (and a few older ones) seem to be obsessed by it.
Seriously people. Smashed avo is not the reason Millennials can’t afford to live in Sydney or Melbourne has more to do with complicated economics that involve some mixture of a stupidly overheated housing market, stagnant wages and crappy supply responses.
Perhaps Bernard was being a little facetious or attempting satire like Johnathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. Either way, everyone needs to chill. Smashed avo is NOT going anywhere, much to my chagrin. The housing market for first home buyers is going to crap for the near future as well. Correlation does not equal causation, so PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP FILLING MY DAMN NEWS FEED WITH PICTURES OF ELEPHANT SNOT ON BREAD!