New Research on Avocados Could Give the World a Lot More Guacamole

Millennials, rejoice: The world may soon get some relief from its avocado crisis.

Researchers in Queensland, Australia, have discovered a way to increase the number of avocado plants by culturing stem cell tissue. It could lead to 500 times more avocado plants in the industry, which has taken on new importance as Americans now eat an average of 7 pounds of the fleshy fruit a year.

Related: Global avocado demand is causing mass deforestation in Mexico

"At present, to supply new trees, the avocado industry follows the same process they have for the last 40 years, which is to take cuttings from high quality trees and root them," Neena Mitter, a researcher with the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, said in a news release. "However, this is a cumbersome, labor- and resource-intensive process, as it takes about 18 months from the cutting stage to having a plant for sale, which creates a huge bottleneck for nurseries across the globe in the number of trees that they can supply to growers."

Mitter said the new method involves creating several trees from one plant and therefore could be a "game-changer."

"There's no genetic modification; there's no change; it's the same cutting from that same tree.... All we have done is provide it with certain, really nice and suitable, conditions," Mitter told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Mitter's discovery is likely welcome news to guacamole lovers. For months, countries around the world have been experiencing an avocado shortage partly blamed on the fact that Mexico and California—which together account for about 40 percent of the global supply of Hass avocados, the most popular type—have run into issues with producer strikes and drought, according to Forbes. At the same time, demand is spiking. Just think about the flood of avocado toast pictures on your Instagram feed every weekend.

Avocados' sudden popularity explosion is also causing a lot of strange articles to be written. On Tuesday, for example, The Guardian reported on a phenomenon in New Zealand where people are stealing avocados and selling them on Facebook. Earlier this week, a PopSugar Food video showing a recipe for low-calorie avocado macaroni and cheese was widely mocked on the internet à la pea guacamole.

Hopefully, the Queensland news will help stop the madness.

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