Global warming could raise Chipotle prices

There is a dire prediction that there will be a shortage of avocados due to the effects of global warming.
March 4, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
There's a dire prediction tonight which could have some severe consequences for lovers of guacamole. California scientists predict climate change could greatly reduce avocado production in the future and some restaurants, big and small, are taking the news very seriously.

The kitchen at San Francisco's Chilango restaurant is full of fresh organic produce -- now a lot more expensive because of California's drought.

"We're concerned about avocados, limes and tomatoes. We know the world is changing and we make our best effort to get them," said restaurant manager Ernesto Juarez. He says the star of the kitchen is avocados, which get transformed nightly into an amazing guacamole.

The guacamole is an organic specialty at the restaurant, but scientists say avocados could be hard to come by in the next 10-30 years because of climate change, which could knock the specialty right off the menu.

The Chipotle restaurant chain is paying attention because they use 35 million pounds of avocados every year. It's warning investors that could mean higher prices and even the end of guacamole sales at the restaurant.

In a letter to shareholders, the company says climate change might eventually affect the availability of its key ingredients. Chipotle cited a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory prediction that hotter temperatures will cause a 40 percent drop in California's avocado production over the next three decades.

Chilango owners say for now they'll keep buying avocados for their special guacamole as long as the price allows.