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Debating Avocados

Written by Courtney Salter, study conducted by Mackenzie Stolp

Avocado! The Achilles heel of the millennial. Can’t be beaten down by gender, age or government but weakness for a squishy green fruit will be their imminent downfall. At least this is the controversial claim of Bernard Salt, opinion writer for The Australian. In his article published 15th October 2016, he claims that young people are spending more money at “hipster cafes” on “$22 a pop” smashed avocado meals than saving for homes. Unsurprisingly, this has disturbed an army of fork-holding millennials.

If you are even remotely familiar with this ‘Late Great Avocado Debate’ (you’d better say that one out loud) then you would’ve seen the debunking articles. However, if you’ve been off in the jungle, or only read your news in meme form, I’m here to help you out. Essentially, housing costs for millennials are a gravity-defying waterslide, or for you statisticians out there, they are going up – rising 4.3 percentage points from 1984 to 2010. Furthermore, millennials now are actually spending less on food than their counterparts 26 years back. So, Bernard Salt my good sir, you are somewhat misinformed.

A vox pop was conducted at UTas’ very own ‘hipster café’ Lazenby’s to find out how relevant this information is to the Tassie students. The survey interviewed young people aged 18-27 and had two major findings. Firstly that young people are not spending money as freely as society thinks and, that they consider buying a house to be extremely difficult. Across all participants the total times eating out at a restaurant averaged 1-2 times per week. Chloe aged 20, who is trying to save for a home, stated in response to eating out that it’s “only when I can afford, and with my current financial status that’s…never.” These experiences disprove the belief that millennials don’t want their own homes. Most millennials would like to own their own homes but feel that saving for it is futile.

This is all rather dire news so let’s have a look at some of the more interesting outcomes of this uproar. The ‘hipster café’ response. In true millennial form, satirical breakfast names have appeared on café chalkboards overnight. Some personal favourites include ‘The Retirement Plan’, ‘Avonomics’ and ‘The Baby Boomer’. The major backlash however, has bloomed and fruited on social media with people posting delicious photos of avocado in every imaginable presentation. So an awkward high five to all you who refuse to be dissuaded from your avocado! I’m off to look at house prices with some guacamole on hand, it might just catch the tears.

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