There’s an Avocado Shortage in New Zealand and People Have Resorted to Robbing Orchards

06/15/2016 at 12:23 PM ET

French Toast
Adrianna Williams/Getty

You know that Klondike Bar jingle that’s essentially inciting people to do just about anything for ice cream? Well, what if it was about avocados?

Would you do something illegal to get your hands on an avocado? Would you lie and steal? These are the moral quandaries facing New Zealanders as the country faces an unprecedented shortage of the delicious fruit.

In 2016, there have been nearly 40 large-scale thefts from New Zealand avocado orchards, with up to 350 fruit stolen at a clip.

RELATED: 9 Deliciously Stuffed Avocado Recipes 

A poor growing season last year and increasing local demand (presumably thanks to delicious recipes like the one at the top of this post) have left growers unable to keep up with the demand. New Zealand Avocado reports that an additional 96,000 New Zealand households started purchasing the fruit in 2015, leaving suppliers struggling to keep up with the demands of the ravenous hordes.

However, illicitly-acquired avocados may be dangerous in more than just the eyes of the law. Since they’ve been “harvested” directly from the tree, they may still be coated in unsafe levels of pesticides and be harmful to the people handling them.

RELATED: Get Cooking! See All of PEOPLE’s Easy, Clever and Delicious Recipe Videos

Jen Scoular, New Zealand Avocado CEO, told the Guardian that her company isn’t particularly alarmed about the rash of thefts. “It’s an easy way to make a quick buck, but I don’t think we are dealing with a sophisticated or highly organized operation here, more opportunistic,” she said.

“This stolen fruit will only have made it to the local markets, it would never reach our export markets.”

So what would you do for a a fresh avocado?

— Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Lyn on

People who would steal avocados coated with pesticides deserve what they get. I don’t use any chemicals on my avocado trees.

Nichol Goreczny on

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Steven Sexton on

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