Intensive Tequila Farming Harms Biodiversity


New Scientist reports that a huge and growing appetite for tequila made from Agave tequilana is harming the genetic diversity of other agave species. Furthermore, the area available for traditional food crops is also falling, and the intensive agave farming is leading to soil erosion, creating an overall decline in biodiversity. Local farmers says that traditional agave varieties can be grown with staples such as maize, beans and squash without recourse to herbicides, but Agave tequilana is grown in monocultures that require the use of herbicides. . . Que lastima. –JULIA WHITTY

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  • Julia Whitty is the environmental correspondent for Mother Jones. Her latest book is Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean. For more of her stories, click here.