Where’d you get those coconuts? Seriously, we want to know. The world is running out.
Coconut plantations in the Caribbean — where most of the world’s supply of coconuts come from — have shrunk by about 17% since 1994, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
In the Dominican Republic alone, production has dropped by about 60% in two decades, according to the local association of growers.
“It’s fair to say that at this pace, the Caribbean is running out of coconuts,” said Compton Paul, coordinator of a regional coconut program at the Trinidad-based Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute.
It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Coconut milk is being sold as a healthier alternative to cow’s milk, and it’s a staple of recipes in the paleo-friendly cookbooks adored by the CrossFit crowd. Coconut water alone is on track to become a $4-billion industry by 2019, according to Technavio, a research company.
The good news, the Philippines and India are stepping up production to meet the new global demand.