By Peter Lawrence Kane
Better run to Chevy’s for that Cabo Wabo Rock 'N Rita now, because there’s about to be a major lime shortage. “Citrus greening,” a disease spread by jumping lice called psyllids that decimated Florida’s oranges (and, to a lesser extent, California’s) has also devastated lime orchards in the Mexican state of Colima, and prices have already quadrupled.
Perversely, while 60% of California experiences “extreme drought,” much of Mexico has been inundated with rain, which helps citrus greening along – but this situation might be remedied by April. In the meantime, organized crime has been targeting trucks loaded with limes bound for the United States, possibly as a beta-test for a substitute commodity to traffic should the U.S. legalize cannabis. So while Chipotle already stated that the squeeze climate change is putting on avocados might force them to phase out guacamole, environmental catastrophe has already claimed its latest victims: carne asada marinade and the venerable gin and tonic. On the bright side, guac minus avocado and lime is pico de gallo, a perfectly serviceable dip for all occasions.
But as a double-whammy to the eco-conscious, since there is no known cure for citrus greening, scientists are considering genetically modifying the groves to make them resistant to the pest. Better make some non-franken-ceviche now, while there’s still time. It doesn’t work with ReaLime.