An avocado contains about 27 calories and 37 grams of fat, but it has earned its place in the health pantheon. (Photo by Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Chicago Tribune—Getty Images
By Raisa Bruner
June 30, 2016

With 4th of July coming up fast, it’s time to hit grocery stores to stock up for that all-American barbecue feast. On the menu: probably guacamole, the very non-American dip that has stolen hearts and taste buds across the country.

But get to the store quickly, because the LA Times reports we may be in for a serious avocado shortage, thanks to a record-breaking southern California heat wave that’s burned avocado trees and made fruit unfit for sale. Avocado sales “generally spike” over this holiday weekend, according to the Times, making this a potentially major setback for both growers and anyone whose barbecue plans included a side of the superfruit.

During the heatwave last week, temperatures in certain California growing regions reached record highs — up to 117 degrees — while strong winds further licked moisture from the land.

If your patriotism doesn’t quite extend to the provenance of your BBQ ingredients, you might still be in luck, as over 80 percent of the U.S. avocado market is, in fact, made up of fruit from south of the border. But even growers in Mexico appear to have miscalculated the size of the market this year.

“There are not enough avocados in the industry right now to supply the demand,” Heath Shoup, of a California avocado packinghouse, told the LA Times. And with the ongoing popularity of dishes like avocado toast and avocado-based smoothies, that’s only set to rise. As for the future of avocado prices and availability?

“We’ve been here for 25 years, and this has never happened before,” said Jeanne Davis, a California avocado grower. Hopefully for avocado lovers, it won’t happen again.

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