26,333 slices of avocado toast
May 19, 2017 9:39 AM   Subscribe

In the latest installment of old/rich people blame millenials for everything, a multi-millionaire property dealer (who inherited wealth) suggests they cut back on the avocado toast so they can buy property. The New York Time fact-checks his "claim", as does SFgate (post title from this), LA Times and CNBC, while social media is wtf, emoji, nope, singing. Elsewhere, gadgets to help you make avocado toast, or consider moving to Ireland.

Elsewhere:

Portland Press Herald: "In Portland, most places charge $6 to $10 for avocado toast, and it might come with eggs or a little salad. Union Restaurant just added the dish to its new spring menu and is charging $12: “Fork-pressed avocado, whole wheat toast, shaved egg, ricotta salata, petite greens, radish and preserved lemon emulsion.”"

CBS: "But let's say you're a fairly normal millennial with a reasonable penchant for superfoods, and you order two avocado toasts per week – eight per month – at a whopping $22 each."

Refinery29: "As I sit here, eating $12 feta-cheese-covered avocado toast that I ordered on Uber Eats, I'm reflecting on their advice."

Grubstreet: "Then again, maybe there’s something to be said for not spending nearly $20 on avocado toast. Not because your debt will magically disappear, but because the only places charging that much for it are ones like the BLT Prime in Washington, D.C.’s Trump International Hotel. There the avocado toast runs for $18, because it also has breakfast radishes, baby spinach, a poached egg, and buffalo mozzarella."

Previously on The MetaFilter:

* December 2016: here's my number (6.022×10^23) so call me tasty
* June 2016: These stolen avocados can carry risks
* March 2016: perfect lattes and avocado toast
* February 2010: The Seedier Side of Avocado Prices: Protectionism in California's Avocado Industry
* January 2004: The Call It Green Gold
posted by Wordshore (119 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ah yes because I need more of the worst discourse in the world right now. Thanks for taking up the mantle Australia, the US has been getting pretty tired of trying to keep public discourse as banal as possible.

Now, in fairness, my teenager said she would rather have avocado toast than a house, as she ate an avocado I bought, in the house I pay for. So there's that.
posted by GuyZero at 9:51 AM on May 19 [22 favorites]


My favourite tweet on this was by Foghorn Greghorn

Avocado Toast $6.50
Data $150
House $650,000
Utility $150
someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. my family is dying
posted by The River Ivel at 9:52 AM on May 19 [54 favorites]


Re-reading some of those news pieces, I am so rural I don't understand half the food descriptions. The Portland one - "Preserved lemon emulsion" - sounds like something you are more likely to put on your canvas or walls than your plate.
posted by Wordshore at 9:52 AM on May 19 [8 favorites]


Is this something I would have to have had avocado toast to understand?
posted by Samizdata at 9:54 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]


"Preserved lemon emulsion"

That sounds like lemon marmalade. Could be lemon curd though.
posted by aubilenon at 9:56 AM on May 19


Yeah, rent in my city is now averaging north of $2500 a month for a one bedroom, while real wages haven't moved in thirty years, but I'm pretty sure it's the avocados that are causing the bankruptcy (moral and otherwise) of my generation.
posted by Mayor West at 9:56 AM on May 19 [75 favorites]


I did not realize that avocado toast was something that people ate in restaurants. I sometimes eat avocado toast for breakfast, and it involves toasting some bread, mashing up an avocado, and putting the mashed avocado on the toast. There's also some salt and pepper involved. It probably costs more than a pop tart, but I would be surprised if it costs more than a dollar or so. I do not think that my avocado toast habits are at all material to my ability to buy property.

Anyway, I am a Gen Xer, so maybe I'm allowed to eat avocado toast.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:58 AM on May 19 [51 favorites]


Every time I start to get a little tetchy at millennials, BS like this comes along and reminds me what an epic screwing they're taking.
posted by praemunire at 9:58 AM on May 19 [42 favorites]


mashing up an avocado

you mean "fork-pressing" it
posted by praemunire at 9:58 AM on May 19 [53 favorites]


Oh, and now I understand why everyone on Twitter was talking about avocado toast. What's up with the male rompers, though?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:59 AM on May 19 [8 favorites]


Is this something I would have to have had avocado toast to understand?

Possibly; it's beyond my scope a bit. I think I had a deep fried avocado on a stick at a midwest state fair a few years back but it didn't make me any more enlightened about property price spiraling.
posted by Wordshore at 9:59 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]


part 50318 of the ongoing series, "don't blame capitalism. hey, look over there! did you see that??"
posted by indubitable at 10:00 AM on May 19 [59 favorites]


Is this something I would have to have had avocado toast to understand?
Probably not! Substitute iphones, lattes, fancy sneakers, or whatever other luxury good rich people are claiming not-rich-people waste money on this year. This type of moralizing is as old as the hills.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:01 AM on May 19 [39 favorites]


I dunno, I've had avocados before and by happenstance I've also had toast before, so I think I might be qualified to judge the merits of both together. In any case, I buy maybe four or five avocados a month, and a loaf of bread usually lasts me a couple of weeks because I'm a sad middle-aged bachelor. The combined monthly cost of both of those grocery items (<$10) is roughly 1/75 of what I pay in rent, so I'd really have to step up my avocado toast eating in order to find myself in the poor house.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:01 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


We've made fork squashed avocado toast every morning for the past 10 years or so, Of course we're Chileans, so that just makes us boringly normal, not gen-anythingers.
posted by signal at 10:01 AM on May 19 [13 favorites]


It's bad enough I have to tell you damn kids to get off my lawn, but HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO CLEAN UP THIS AVOCADO?!?!
posted by goatdog at 10:02 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]


GenXer here. What the hell is avocado toast? Why would you waste it on white bread? It goes into mexican food for chrissakes.
posted by JoeZydeco at 10:04 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


At this point, this happens with enough regularity that I'm just as, if not more, irritated with the media outlet that decided to give this idiot a platform in the first place. Why on Earth do we need to hear the inane opinions of some essentially random real estate developer? Of course they're stupid, because he's completely isolated from the life of anyone who's not a millionaire. Why bother talking to him about anything?
posted by Copronymus at 10:04 AM on May 19 [29 favorites]


What's up with the male rompers, though?

Excuse me, we're calling them "RompHims" now. That is essentially the entirety of it, and your reaction to it is entirely determined by how you feel about US Bro Culture.
posted by Copronymus at 10:08 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]


The most expensive avocado toast I've ordered as of this date was 18.00 with tip. If I ordered this every day, as opposed to once a year, it would add up to 6,500. I ordered and ate this toast in San Francisco, where the average house down payment in 2016 was 190,000 which requires saving 104 dollars a day for five years.

Don't think the toast is making a big difference here.
posted by lepus at 10:09 AM on May 19 [9 favorites]


Of course, if people didn't buy those things, then those companies wouldn't be worth any money, and there wouldn't be any millionaires to complain about how the poor are wasting money on other people's investment portfolios.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:09 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]


That is essentially the entirety of it, and your reaction to it is entirely determined by how you feel about US Bro Culture.

Your reaction is also determined by how often you as a man lift your arms above your head.
posted by GuyZero at 10:12 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]


how often you as a man lift your arms above your head

OW! My fidget spinners!
posted by turkeybrain at 10:18 AM on May 19 [28 favorites]


Anyway, I am a Gen Xer, so maybe I'm allowed to eat avocado toast.

I'm pretty sure we're allowed to eat as much avocado toast as we like, so long as we couch any real enjoyment in sarcasm in order to maintain the appropriate ironic distance.
posted by thivaia at 10:18 AM on May 19 [22 favorites]


GenXer here. What the hell is avocado toast?

It's commonplace food that could be made for pretty cheap at home, but it gets marked up quite a bit in restaurants (like everything else in restaurants). This makes people angry at Millennials for ordering it in restaurants. If you want to understand "avocado toast", it's kind of like how people used to whine about GenX ordering $8 cups of coffee like it was the worst thing ever.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:22 AM on May 19 [23 favorites]


The neo-traditional bagel place near me just started offering avacado schmear, typical mashed avacado mixed with cream cheese and scallions on a toasted bagel.

It was pretty damn good, don't think I could've bought a house with it tho.
posted by The Whelk at 10:22 AM on May 19 [12 favorites]


Also, I think maybe this dude has his cause and effect wrong. Maybe young adults go out for meals because they live in tiny apartments where it's hard to entertain, the way people who own houses can. It's hard to have your friends over for a cookout if you live in a 500-square-foot apartment with no space for a grill. If you want to get together with people, you're probably going to do it at a restaurant or bar.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:26 AM on May 19 [46 favorites]


It's OK, they're just whistling past the graveyard on their way to the moment when the generation with all their wealth in their houses needs to retire and meets the generation that cannot afford to buy a house under any circumstances. No big deal.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:27 AM on May 19 [58 favorites]


Millenials just can't win. First they yell at you about how fat you're getting and how you need more fruits and veggies in your diet. And then, when you get them, they badger you about how much you're spending on them because no matter what it is it's not right.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:28 AM on May 19 [14 favorites]


Somebody made a handy Mortgage Calculator that uses units that millenials can understand.
posted by schmod at 10:28 AM on May 19 [35 favorites]


I was standing under an avocado tree once that grew those great big avocados that are the size of a butternut squash. One of them dropped and nearly hit me, in which case I would have been toast by avocado. (Lesson learned: don't stand under avocado trees on windy days.)

There is some level of truth that small luxuries can add up to surprisingly large amounts of money (like the typical latte-per-day example), but that's usually more on the scale of a few car payments. The structural reasons that buying property in expensive cities is already unattainable and getting worse go a lot deeper and have nothing at all to do with whether or not one buys frivolous foods.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:30 AM on May 19 [7 favorites]


My favourite response to this so far has been "our generation is truly shafted if our symbol of decadence is a vegetable on bread."
posted by ominous_paws at 10:30 AM on May 19 [118 favorites]


Wow, a down payment in Montreal is only 6000 avocado toasts! Sign me up for a series of stress fantasies about moving there!
posted by en forme de poire at 10:31 AM on May 19 [7 favorites]


Just wait until folks realize the guillotine that slices avocados so nicely also works on rich assholes.
posted by kokaku at 10:31 AM on May 19 [25 favorites]


I've been on a low carb diet for almost 10 months. Endless avocado, no toast. If anyone has suggestions for substitutes, bring em on. God how I miss my avocado toast. (Source: gen x, renter, fuck those people for blaming kids for an economy they didn't destroy)
posted by nevercalm at 10:31 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


I mean, following Trump's mirror sort of thinking, is this one guy just passionately obsessed with avocados? Is he hoarding warehouses of the things and full of furious jealousy that he cannot have even more?
posted by ominous_paws at 10:32 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]


our generation is truly shafted if our symbol of decadence is a vegetable on bread

Also, by not knowing the difference between a vegetable and a fruit.
posted by signal at 10:37 AM on May 19 [6 favorites]


You know what, if I were at a restaurant and they offered me an egg, avocado toast and a salad or something for $12, I would feel, actually, pretty good about that. (I mean, assuming that the portions weren't ridiculously tiny.) That's a whole meal, people!

I can absolutely get cheaper meals than that in town, but they are mostly "lots of noodles or rice, a deep fried thing and a garnish of vegetables and protein", which is delicious but not sustainable unless one works a physical gig.

Of course avocado toast is going to be a little expensive in a restaurant, people! It's usually on really nice bread and it requires the restaurant to keep more avocados, all of which must be used when exactly right for mashing. The wastage of avocado must be substantial, given how tricky it is to keep just a few in the house to use over the course of a couple of days without having the last one go bad.

I would argue that the Boomers should remember that clothes and food are actually cheaper now than in the past, so if the Snake People can't afford houses like their elders could, that seems to point to a problem other than too many avocados.

(In re low carb and avocado toast - have you thought of using a thin slice of baked tofu? Or a thin slice of pan fried tempeh which you had marinated in soy and sesame? I have had mashed avocado on a quorn cutlet, and it made the quorn cutlet taste a lot better, let me tell you. I myself eat low carb six days a week and tomorrow is my day off....so I plan to break out my secret bread stash and stuff myself on toast.)
posted by Frowner at 10:41 AM on May 19 [14 favorites]


I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by avocados
starving hysterical naked
(or sometimes grilled with a little salt)
dragging themselves through the streets at dawn looking for an cheap brunch
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:42 AM on May 19 [28 favorites]


I wish my friends would stop sharing this (to hate on it, obviously, but still). If I'm going to be a homeowner by the time I'm 50 I can't be frittering my money away on frivolous nonsense like blood-pressure meds. Also I stopped buying avocados when the prices skyrocketed, I haven't had an avocado in like a year now and this just makes me crave avocado toast.
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:47 AM on May 19 [7 favorites]


You don't see the virtuous millennials. They don't spend time in trendy cafés eating avocado toast. They don't live in expensive areas where 65% of their income goes on rent. They live in bungalows in the outer suburbs, in bunks in shared rooms; but that's OK, because they all work two jobs and drive for Uber or Deliveroo in their spare time. They don't drink, don't party, don't go to festivals or spend money on Netflix. Their janky old phones don't have Instagram on them, so they don't get tempted to spend money on looking photogenic.

They're also half a century closer to having a deposit than the decadent, avocado-gorged hedonists. If life extension technology comes through, they might just make it.
posted by acb at 10:48 AM on May 19 [21 favorites]


I don't have time to dig it up, but there was an interesting twitter thread from someone from... Puerto Rico, I think? Pointing out that in fact when she grew up that smearing avocado on bread for breakfast was what poor people like her family did. Butter on the table was a sign of a middle class family, not just because it was expensive but because you also had a fridge to keep it from melting in the usual tropical heat.
posted by tavella at 10:49 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


Also, by not knowing the difference between a vegetable and a fruit.

Vegetable has no coherent botanical definition. Fruits and vegetables are not mutually exclusive categories. Avocados, like tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers, are arguably both.
posted by Copronymus at 10:49 AM on May 19 [35 favorites]


Aside: I wonder how long until someone crowdfunds an avocado-smashing appliance. It'd be chrome and brushed aluminium, and would connect to the Internet of Things so it can do something pointless like post a photo of your freshly smashed avocado to your Instagram or post an avocado emoji to Twitter or something (and presumably aggregate analytics data which helps adtech companies determine whether the user is a cash-rich “influencer” whose eyeballs are worth more). It, of course, would not work without an internet connection. The asking price would be $999, though crowdfunders can get it for $899.
posted by acb at 10:51 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]


I think the real "Trump's Mirror" emotion here is petulant entitlement. Apparently it's not enough to say that you don't like warehousey brunch places with uncomfortable seating. It has to be someone's fault that those places even exist. And ah, how convenient! These people shouldn't even be eating brunch in the first place! For a second I thought I might not actually be more deserving of small luxuries than others, and my worldview almost completely collapsed!
posted by en forme de poire at 10:52 AM on May 19 [13 favorites]


I think that if it were possible for us snake people, in the terms these articles are always describing us (namely the stereotype of the college-educated metro-area-living media-working millennial), to actually buckle down and save up a downpayment in the span of a year or two, you would see a lot more people doing that. When you're looking at the prospect of saving for years and years for a property that just gets further out of reach every year thanks to the rate that housing prices have been increasing, it's easy to just shrug your shoulders, figure you'll be renting forever/working until you die, and go get that avocado toast.
posted by matcha action at 10:59 AM on May 19 [29 favorites]


Low carb avocado toast for @nevercalm:
(I've been low carb for 3 years, and low carb paleo for 1. This recipe sounds awful to me.)
posted by OrangeDisk at 11:02 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]


To be fair, I could definitely eat 26,333 slices of avocado toast.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:03 AM on May 19 [17 favorites]


The structural reasons that buying property in expensive cities is already unattainable and getting worse go a lot deeper and have nothing at all to do with whether or not one buys frivolous foods.

Lol, I'll bet you an avocado toast that one of this guy's other columns is complaining about people who want to ruin his nice normal neighborhood by building structures that are too tall or that contain the wrong sort of person...
posted by en forme de poire at 11:04 AM on May 19 [7 favorites]


I sometimes eat avocado toast for breakfast, and it involves toasting some bread, mashing up an avocado, and putting the mashed avocado on the toast. There's also some salt and pepper involved.

Dude, that's not avocado toast. That's artisanal avocado toast. Shit, that's worth a studio loft in a converted factory space right there!
posted by Naberius at 11:08 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


I have three avocados sitting in the fridge of my house which I will be turning into guac tonight.

I'm next up on the Guillotine, aren't I.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:12 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]


I have three avocados sitting in the fridge

nnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by GuyZero at 11:14 AM on May 19 [12 favorites]


So wait, if I trade in my avocado toast and iPad, could I get a house AND health care?
posted by DrAstroZoom at 11:16 AM on May 19 [19 favorites]


I built my house out of pieces of avocado toast. Checkmate, entitled rich dude!
posted by kyrademon at 11:21 AM on May 19 [5 favorites]


My husband spread half an avocado on his toast at home yesterday so I guess it's his fault we're raising a family of four in a 2-bed rental. It's good to have an explanation.
posted by olinerd at 11:24 AM on May 19 [10 favorites]


>It's bad enough I have to tell you damn kids to get off my lawn, but HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO CLEAN UP THIS AVOCADO?!?!<

Hire one of the kids on the lawn? Apparently they are experienced with Avocados....
posted by twidget at 11:27 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]


Man I can't wait to share this article with my coworker who lives and home and says rent is a sham and we're all sucks while she eats food her mom made her. Then she can feel even better about herself.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 11:30 AM on May 19 [3 favorites]


nnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Fine, I'll play abogado del diablo: If you're not going to eat ripe avocados immediately, you should put them in the fridge.
posted by zamboni at 11:31 AM on May 19 [9 favorites]


Goldern millennials can get their own houses the way I did, by my mother giving me the beat-up old house I grew up in, when my grandmother left her beat-up old house to her in the will. But I already bought my millennial kid a beat-up old house and paid off her loans, so too late for everyone else.

Also: I have never had avocado toast. There must be a connection.
posted by Peach at 11:32 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]


This is ridiculous, of course, in the same way that it is always ridiculous when some out of touch person pontificates on how some imagined other lives.

One of the big things wrong with it is that he's lumping young people spending large but relatively trivial amounts money on restaurants in with young people who can't afford to buy homes, as though they're all just one big monolith. (And, of course, if you live in an area where avocado toast costs $22 at a restaurant, the housing prices are probably similarly inflated.)

It's sort of like, oh, I dunno, if one were to lump in 'old/rich' people and blame them for the things that some notably clueless guy in that demographic said. He doesn't think that because he's old, and he doesn't even think that because he's rich. He thinks that because he's a dumbass who likes to hold court about things he doesn't understand, and half of the problem is, as Copronymus points out, people are responding to it as though it even merits discussion.

It's just some clueless out of touch guy saying the sort of thing those guys have been saying forever.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:38 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]


He's not even that old, for what it's worth. He 35.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:39 AM on May 19 [4 favorites]


Yes, it's quite rich (pun intended) that a 35 year old is lecturing "younger people." Mmmhmm.

The article in the post said he purchased his first investment property with $34,000 borrowed from his grandfather, but he got mad about that accusation and defended himself by going on the record to say NOT TRUE AT ALL, actually his first investment property was bought with $180,000 fronted by his employer! The paltry $34,000 loan from Grandpa came a couple of years later, and he's proud to say his privilege and immense sense of entitlement have been with him a long, long time, thank you very much.

If my eyes roll any more they're going to pop out of my head.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:08 PM on May 19 [25 favorites]


He's not even that old, for what it's worth. He 35.

(slow-motion black and white montage) Have you recently found yourself writing snippy editorials about "young people" who are adults at most 5-10 years younger than you? Have your friends started to describe you as "crotchety"? Do canes mysteriously appear in your hand, even though you are an able-bodied man less than 20 years out of college? Do you shake these mysterious ghost canes at skateboarders? You may have a condition known as premature middle-age, or PMA. PMA has no cure, but it is treatable. Talk to your doctor about getting the fuck over yourself
posted by en forme de poire at 12:25 PM on May 19 [32 favorites]


My favourite response to this so far has been "our generation is truly shafted if our symbol of decadence is a vegetable on bread."

It's the bread that makes it decadent. These hedonistic millennials could save a bunch of money if they just had a banana instead. I mean, it's one banana, Michael. What could it cost, ten dollars?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:33 PM on May 19 [8 favorites]


My buddy Troy had his wisdom teeth out the other day, so yesterday he ate a mashed avocado and hummus sandwich. The bread wasn't toasted though, and I have no idea what it cost.
posted by jonmc at 12:34 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


I have three avocados sitting in the fridge

nnnnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo


GuyZero has eaten
the avocados
that were in the icebox

and which
you were
refrigerating
for some reason

Forgive me
they were delicious
so creamy
but too cold
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:37 PM on May 19 [17 favorites]


It's kind of weird to criticize people invoking ridiculous stereotypes of young people when the criticism itself invokes ridiculous stereotypes of old people.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:52 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


It's kind of weird to criticize people invoking ridiculous stereotypes of young people when the criticism itself invokes ridiculous stereotypes of old people.

It's quid pro tu quoque or something.
posted by GuyZero at 12:53 PM on May 19 [4 favorites]


My local paper, I grimaced when I saw that headline.

True part: Artisanal stuff is expensive, and a habit of spending money on organic dog food, Starbux lattes, fancy cocktails, or whatever, exacerbates debt, and makes saving more difficult. Spend less than you earn is a useful habit. Many young and old people I know have learned this; many have not.

Truer omission: Millennials are way more likely to have gobs of college debt. And people in most ordinary jobs are losing union protection. And wages suck really a lot, effectively going down. Also, there is a lot of cash piling up for the wealthy, and some of that is being used to buy up housing and maximize rents. You wanna buy a house? Be in the N%, and buy housing. Use profit to buy a house.

Every time some one posts rompers, I think about how they pretty much look crap on everyone. Every time some one posts avocado toast, it makes me hungry for avocado toast. I bet that guy bought avocado toast futures. Bastard.
posted by theora55 at 12:56 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]


So a guy says "stop wasting your money on overpriced status consumables, exemplified by $18-22 on avacado toast at overpriced restaurants you only go to for foodie status points (probably in the form of instagram likes), and learn to save money for a house".

He's mostly wrong because the reason for these status purchases is that real estate is forever out of reach for most of these people unless they move out of the cities where they can find employment. For some people, in some places, he's right but he's mostly wrong.

Instead of an interesting rebuttal, most everyone pretends to misunderstand in order to make a 140 character joke, 99% of which are the almost-clever comparison to the Arrested Development line. Nuance and metaphor are no longer allowed in public discourse, because someone who perceives themselves to be your ideological enemy will use it to mock you and no one will call them on it.

Even older millennials can remember when this rule only applied to politicians. And everyone fucking complained, rightly, about how this sound bite culture was a terrible development and definitely a step in the wrong direction. It's depressing to see this rule applied globally, to every public statement. This is all rhetorical bullshit.
posted by Infracanophile at 12:57 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]




Yeah, to be fair he was using expensive avocado toast as example, like you might not be gobbling avocados every day, but it will be one of many things that can add up. Still probably not adding up to a house.

There is a lot of class wrapped up in what you do and do not consider an extravagance. I'm reminded of the "How a family making $500 000 feels average" article. Where their house cost 1.5 million and they took three vacations a year, but they make a point that they don't buy "fancy bags, shoes, or threads."
posted by RobotHero at 1:11 PM on May 19 [4 favorites]


But 35-year olds are millennials!
posted by asteria at 1:13 PM on May 19 [3 favorites]


I don't think I've ever seen avocado toast on a menu anywhere, and I patronize some pretty hipster/millennial establishments.
posted by gucci mane at 1:14 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]


We have to keep the avocados in the fridge, because otherwise the cat will eat them. He will drag them down or out of wherever, pounce on them, viciously murder them, and eat them from the peel down to leaving little toothmarks in the pit.

The cat is actually the reason everyone is poor. I can tell he's a venture capitalist because he consistently wears a tuxedo without shoes.

I'm sorry about my cat and the economy, everybody.
posted by Rush-That-Speaks at 1:15 PM on May 19 [51 favorites]


I tried to put avocados in my toaster once, but it made a big mess.
posted by briank at 1:17 PM on May 19 [4 favorites]


I pasted this excerpt from Generation X on Twitter when this first started making the rounds:
"Or for that matter, do you really think we enjoy hearing about your brand new million-dollar home when we can barely afford to eat Kraft Dinner sandwiches in our own grimy little shoe boxes and we're pushing thirty? A home you won in a genetic lottery, I might add, sheerly by dint of your having been born at the right time in history? You'd last about ten minutes if you were my age these days, Martin. And I have to endure pinheads like you rusting above me for the rest of my life, always grabbing the best piece of cake first and then putting a barbed-wire fence around the rest. You really make me sick."
To this day I don't know how anyone would decide to make a sandwich out of Kraft Dinner, but the more things change …

Also the Grubstreet article cribs from the Washingtonian's helpful list of who charges what for avocado toast. I was already never going to BLT Prime, but remind me never to go to the Smith.
posted by fedward at 1:23 PM on May 19 [11 favorites]


Instead of an interesting rebuttal, most everyone pretends to misunderstand

Sorry, this argument was both wrong and mean-spirited back fifteen years or more ago when it featured lattes, and it hasn't gotten any better with time. Whole chapters of books have been given over to interesting rebuttals. This guy isn't deploying nuance or metaphor, he's trying to defend the indefensible just-world hypothesis in his head that makes him, fronted money by his family and employer, a virtuous and worthy rich person, and millennials without access to such resources undeserving of what used to be an ordinary middle-class life.
posted by praemunire at 1:26 PM on May 19 [24 favorites]


As a millenial, all I really want is a house so I can host garden parties like at the ending of Food Network shows. GIVE ME MY NATURAL LIGHT DAMMIT YOU FED ME THESE ASPIRATIONS

*** I'm kidding I want many other things as well, like the destruction of white cis heteropatriarchy and a reliable funding stream for journalism
posted by yueliang at 1:28 PM on May 19 [9 favorites]


Instead of an interesting rebuttal

Do you think you're the first person to be like "actually, the real problem is that housing prices in our cities are way out of reach for the vast majority of their inhabitants?" You're not even the first person to say that in this thread.

Nuance and metaphor are no longer allowed in public discourse, because someone who perceives themselves to be your ideological enemy will use it to mock you and no one will call them on it. ... This is all rhetorical bullshit.

And what, pray tell, is accusing people who buy avocado toast of only doing it for "foodie status points" and "Instagram likes"?
posted by en forme de poire at 1:45 PM on May 19 [10 favorites]


The sign at one of the local trailer park claims a nice $9000 trailer exists. And the local City has houses they own that are listed for $1500 with a note how you should get a structural engineer in to look at the place.

Those prices seem to be in a place where regular 'avocado toast' purchases make a difference.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:49 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


As a side note, avocado toast made at home is really delicious. Serious Eats has a really nice article on 9 takes on how to make your avocado toast awesome.

*** I know this, because APPARENTLY I'M A RESPONSIBLE MILLENIAL WHO MAKES AVOCADO TOAST AT HOME AND CRIES ABOUT THE DESTRUCTION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE CONTINUED SUBJUGATION OF THOSE IN POVERTY PRIVATELY
posted by yueliang at 1:51 PM on May 19 [7 favorites]


Update from the front:

This discussion made me crave avocado toast, so I went to the nearby grocery store and got a bagel and an avocado. I brought them back to the breakroom at work, toasted the bagel, mashed up the avocado, assembled my avocado toast, and then a co-worker came in to ooh and aaah and tell me how delicious my lunch looked. Also, she is a millennial. However, she owns a house. (We live in the hinterlands. You can buy a house here for the price of about 15 artisanal sandwiches in San Francisco.) However, here is the kicker. I told her that I was inspired to get avocado toast because I read a stupid article about how millennials can't own houses because they spend all their money on avocado toast, and she told me that one of her friends told her that she was buying a cheap house because it was more important to her to be able to afford avocados than to have a big house. So there you go, guys: I have found the elusive millennial who chooses avocados over real estate.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:59 PM on May 19 [18 favorites]


The sign at one of the local trailer park claims a nice $9000 trailer exists.

Unless you already own land (land that is zoned for mobile homes, which is not a given because of NIMBY) you're still stuck paying lot rental every month. And a mobile home automatically depreciates, like a motor vehicle.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:02 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]


Avocado Toast $6.50
Data $150
House $650,000
Utility $150
someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. my family is dying


I saw this version of the tweet which made a bit more sense to me:

Utilities $100
Data $150
Rent $800
Avocado Toast $300,000
someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. my family is dying
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:09 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]


I used to fantasize about living in a mobile home because it seemed like the only way I could afford a home, but yeah, learning about lot rental fees and automatic depreciation sort of killed that fantasy.

Nothing says the death of the middle class like shooting down your fantasies about mobile homes.

"Foodie status points," ffs.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 2:10 PM on May 19 [14 favorites]


Has anyone tried to create a hipster trailer court for millennials to park their cute manufactured tiny homes in? If not, someone should, if for no other reason than that it would be the perfect NYTimes lifestyle piece.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:42 PM on May 19 [5 favorites]



The sign at one of the local trailer park claims a nice $9000 trailer exists. And the local City has houses they own that are listed for $1500 with a note how you should get a structural engineer in to look at the place.

Those prices seem to be in a place where regular 'avocado toast' purchases make a difference
.

I don't think you would find avocado toast in that town.

I am in a place where housing is more affordable (though not that affordable). And I never even heard of avocado toast until today.
posted by elizilla at 2:47 PM on May 19


It's bad enough I have to tell you damn kids to get off my lawn, but HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO CLEAN UP THIS AVOCADO?!?!

Hire one of the kids on the lawn? Apparently they are experienced with Avocados....


Use sploopie.com. It's a web site where you can hire people in your town to clean up avocados. You get the work done, they get next to nothing, some douchebro in Palo Alto gets VIP passes to the Fyre Festival. Everybody wins. It's part of that gig economy that the millennials are so wild about.
posted by Naberius at 3:04 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]


If you give up some expensive amenity that the vast majority consume, that might help you be more able to buy a house than they are.

But if everybody gives up that amenity, the average prices of houses will jump, probably by more than the average amount people are saving by giving up the amenity.

And that's what he's counting on, as somebody who owns houses.
posted by jamjam at 3:12 PM on May 19 [4 favorites]


Has anyone tried to create a hipster trailer court for millennials to park their cute manufactured tiny homes in?

Yes. It ended badly. (There's a she said, he said, he said breakdown at Curbed.)
posted by fedward at 3:12 PM on May 19 [5 favorites]


Also, man. I'm not sure in what world owning a trailer in a trailer park represents upward economic mobility worth sacrificing delicious avocadoes for. The lot rent and depreciation have been mentioned, meaning that most of the supposed advantages of owning do not apply in this situation. Evicted spends a lot of time in a trailer park, showing how the tenants--which is really what they are--get worked over. And, while with a large enough population they must be to somebody's individual taste, they are generally miserable situations. People who could afford to buy in trailer parks don't keep on renting because they aren't aware of trailer parks' existence.

A $1500 house will have been stripped of any possible item that could even be sold for scrap and is almost certainly a health hazard. Unless you like camping in an unheated unsafe house without running water for three years while you attempt to become a DIY-er, supplying everything, it's not an economical purchase.
posted by praemunire at 3:20 PM on May 19 [4 favorites]


It really depends on the mobile home park. I have a friend who lives in one, of the sort that is preconstructed housing rather than actual trailers, and it's been pretty decent for her. Her monthly mortgage+lot fee are about what rent would be, and she gets a bigger place for it that she can do what she wants with. It's still risky because while it is owned by a multigenerational family that is invested in keeping it nice (there are trees, a shared community center with pool, etc), at some point the next generation might decide to sell out to one of those firms that will raise rents constantly.
posted by tavella at 3:27 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


There have been a number of FPPs about mobile homes and trailer parks, complete with insightful comments from the not-insignificant number of people here who are current or former residents of mobile homes. It's an interesting topic, but somewhat tangential to the subject at hand.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:29 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]


The problem is we need more affordable houses and apartments.
posted by freakazoid at 3:48 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


my name is mous
and wen its nite
i eat dry toast
by candle lite

no avocados
'till i dead -
i sav for hous

i lik the bread
posted by belladonna at 4:11 PM on May 19 [36 favorites]


And the local City has houses they own that are listed for $1500 with a note how you should get a structural engineer in to look at the place.

You realize that "structural engineer" is not the name of a superhero whose power is house-repair-vision, right? I live in a suburb of Detroit. I've seen $1500 houses. You're essentially buying the land and, if you're lucky, a decent foundation.
posted by Etrigan at 4:53 PM on May 19 [11 favorites]


It looks like this dude was not even the first person to blame "avocado toast" specifically: this actually middle-aged columnist did it back in Oct 2016, eliciting a very similar reaction. I'm guessing it was an intentional reference?

It's interesting how "avocado toast" is now performing the same role as "latte-swilling, sushi-eating," etc. After all, this guy would never have said "you have to stop ordering pizzas," even though delivery pizza costs just as much, and there are probably still orders of magnitude more 20-somethings ordering pizza than ordering avocado toast.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:25 PM on May 19 [11 favorites]


en forme de poire: "I'm guessing it was an intentional reference?"

"I read an article once about people who couldn't afford houses, what did that say?"
posted by RobotHero at 5:32 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


I'm Gen X. This discussion made me hungry so the kids and I had smashed avocado on toast for breakfast. Whoops, there goes their housing fund. It was delicious by the way.
posted by Jubey at 5:32 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


I don't think you would find avocado toast in that town.

Largest city in the state/largest county in the state also. Port city that'll get your cargo out to the Atlantic or the gulf of Mexico if need be.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:42 PM on May 19


I'm allergic to avocados and also a homeowner. Make of that what you will.
posted by vespabelle at 5:44 PM on May 19


the kids and I had smashed avocado on toast for breakfast. Whoops, there goes their housing fund.

You EEEdiot!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:45 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


But 35-year olds are millennials!

A millennial is anyone under 55. A hipster is anyone with any hair anywhere. A foodie is anyone who consumes fluids.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:01 PM on May 19 [8 favorites]


"The sign at one of the local trailer park claims a nice $9000 trailer exists."

And you believe them?
posted by Selena777 at 7:56 PM on May 19


How many slices of avocado toast will fit on this pitchfork?
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:02 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]


My favourite response to this so far has been "our generation is truly shafted if our symbol of decadence is a vegetable on bread."
posted by ominous_paws at 1:30 PM on May 19


And yet, it's cyclical. One striking thing about Casino Royale (the original Fleming novel from 1953, not the movie versions) is that in contrast to the globe-trotting of the later books and of the films, it reflects the narrowed horizons of a Britain still recovering from wartime privation. So the exotic location for the action is a casino in Normandy, just across the English Channel. And the rare, foreign gastronomic luxury that Bond indulges in at the dinner table? An "avocado pear" for dessert.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 4:32 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Avocado Toast $6.50
Data $150
House $650,000
Utility $150
someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. my family is dying

I saw this version of the tweet which made a bit more sense to me:

Utilities $100
Data $150
Rent $800
Avocado Toast $300,000
someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this. my family is dying


Both of which are a spin on the original by @dril, the best thing to happen to Twitter.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:22 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]


“Wat’sh the matter, Moneypenny? I thought you enjoyed a wee kish now and then.”

“I'm sorry, James. It's just that, well…”

“Well, what?”

“Well, your last expense report…”

“Exshpenshe report? What'sh that got to do with you and I having a bit of fun together?”

“Oh, I know it was silly of me to think we had a future together. But now I know it's final - a man who goes around ordering avocado pairs left and right will never be able to provide a decent home for a wife!”
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:07 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


Both of which are a spin on the original by @dril

Those clueless commenters, dear lord
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:24 AM on May 20 [1 favorite]


You know, I only have a house because of money and timing.

By that I mean: my wife and I got a gift of $20,000 from her grandfather and used it as the down payment, at a time when that could be a down payment in Los Angeles.

And now that I am much more responsible with money and have saved much, much more than that...I couldn't get a house with what I've saved, even with my perfect credit.

And if course I couldn't have saved that money if I had been renting the whole time, because rents have exploded since I got the house but my mortgage has only gotten cheaper.

You can't focus on the money in any useful way without focusing on the moment in time in which you do or do not have money, and how much your rent increases to eat any additional salary you might make.
posted by davejay at 11:31 AM on May 20 [6 favorites]


en forme de poire has it. Avocado toast is different in Australia (where both rich white curmudgeons complaining about it come from) than in the US. Avocados aren't super cheap here, so you'd most likely see avocado toasts at hipster eateries. And they're usually not just avocado - it's on fancy bread, with cheese or dukkah or eggs or some other thing. It is totally the contemporary Aussie version of "latte-swilling".

It doesn't make the guys' comments any less stupid. Australians have been mocking the notion of being able to buy a house with toast money for a while. There's even this real estate company that promises you free avocado toast for a year if you buy one of their properties.
posted by divabat at 2:42 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


I'm a baby boomer and I rent and eat avocado toast at my local coffee shop because it makes me feel young.
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:49 PM on May 20


How the hell do you rent avocado toast??
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:48 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


In a way, all avocado toast is only rented.
posted by kyrademon at 3:55 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


This thread is so much more satisfying than the election thread(s). And not only because avocados are delicious and filling.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 5:31 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


GuyZero has eaten
the avocados
that were in the icebox

and which
you were
refrigerating
for some reason

Forgive me
they were delicious
so creamy
but too cold


I recognised this poem instantly. It means quite a lot to me.

I am an avocado-toast eating millennial myself, and as a young child (7 or 8) my single mother was one day overcome with the grief of our economic situation. She was crying, and mentioned something about money when I asked. I believe we were on assistance at the time.

I had a pang of guilt, realising how costly my existence must be ... so I emptied my piggie bank of its paltry 2 dollars, made a crude construction paper envelope and combed through my children's poetry anthology so I could enclose with my contribution to the family an appropriate piece of prose. "This Is Just To Say" was the one I chose to copy and give to my mother.

I didn't understand when she cried harder, but boy, this comment brought it all back, and very much into focus, given the subject matter. Some things never change.
posted by Violet Femme at 7:49 PM on May 20 [9 favorites]


I was prepared to rant about old people who don't understand what life is like these days, but I'm 41 and this guy is 35, so I guess I have to rant about kids these days and their crazy ideas.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:36 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


I thought about the avocado toast renting after I typed that! I do not own a house. Probably be cause I spend $6.00 on renting avocado toast.
posted by interplanetjanet at 8:05 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


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