Avocado Avenger


Here we get to the pointy end of Aussie breakfasts.

In the last decade or more, so-called smashed avocado has become standard breakfast fare for privileged punters Down Under, both in cafes and at home. Bill Granger may be the ‘godfather’ of avocado-on-toast by serving it up in his Sydney cafe 28 years ago.

It certainly didn’t feature on my childhood breakfast menu, and Richard Glover’s book, The Land Before Avocado, uses it as emblematic of changed habits (I’ve not read it). Others have linked smashed avo to lower home ownership rates, due to millennials’ addiction to eating out on it and wasting their loan deposit money.

But beyond the economic threat to post-modern life, there is apparently also a physical menace lurking in this otherwise healthy vegetable (full of good unsaturated fats), which hitherto you may have been unaware of.

‘Avocado hand’ is a medical term for a self-inflicted knife injury from trying to remove its stone. Muscles, tendons and nerves can be thusly assaulted. University researchers estimated over 50,000 avocado-related knife injuries occurred between 1998 and 2017 in the US, not counting those too ashamed to go to hospital. An epidemic, mainly affecting hapless idiots.

Figures in Australia must be high, as we have plenty of them too. Research also refers to ‘avocado hand syndrome’, so presumably some repeat offenders or victims must be doubling down on their serial stupidity.

Now imagine if, in addition, every avo stone was like the one that turned up on my breakfast plate the other day (see below). Collective self-mutilation of the chattering classes would run amok, as we speared ourselves in the head too, or worse! 

You can even find guidelines for safe avocado stone removal by knife, but I’m not doing homework for idiots. Is that the definition of a first world problem? Archaeologists have found evidence of humans eating avocado in South America 10,000 years ago, and none of avocado hand, so obviously we’ve gone backwards since then in manual dexterity, despite our smart phones.

Coincidentally another kitchen danger is under study by KLOTU (Kookynie Lo-Tech Uni) researchers from the back bar at the pub, aka the laboratory. The team has temporarily suspended in-depth study of the problem of darts bouncing off the board there, and turned short attention spans to look at a burgeoning digital problem in the kitchen.

Multiple cases of ‘toast finger’ have gone unreported to medical authorities. Nah, not finger toast, which is useful for dipping into gooey boiled egg, but injuries caused by more idiots (or the same ones?) sticking their fingers into the toaster. Yeah, surprisingly you can get burnt fingers, or even electrocuted. Guidelines for safe toasting will no doubt be published one day.

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