Sunday, February 2, 2014

Don't you believe it!

Skepticism is one of the subjects I hope to address often with this blog.  I'm not going to go the route of "God didn't flood the whole world but there was a regional flood in the Black Sea" or "you should vaccinate your kids" (though you should).  I don't sense that there's a shortage of such blogs in the world.

I'll be addressing everyday information that people use to make decisions or just to better understand the world around them.  I'll be addressing the facts (or not), how they spread, and how they matter if they do.

Today I came across a claim by the Hass Avocado Board that Americans will consume 104 million pounds of avocados in events surrounding the Superbowl.

I'm not buying it.

From a quick look, that volume of avocados would be 1 percent of world production, which sounds not unreasonable, but it would also be fully 20% of US production.  That sounds like a lot.  It's also a quarter pound or so for every man, woman and child in the country.

But perhaps I'm wrong.  Perhaps I have the production figures wrong or perhaps there is that much consumed this weekend.  I have emailed the Hass Avocado Board to find out and I'll report things here.

2-11-14 Edited to add: The Hass Avocado Board responded.  Based on figures I found on their website and corroborated with figures from the USDA and elsewhere I have concluded that their estimate was reasonable.  There's a new post on this subject here.

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