The post said:
????????avocado lovers ????????sit down because I’m about to change your life.
Did y’all already know this?? Avocados stay good for-freaking-ever if you put them in water in the fridge. These have been in here for two whole dang weeks while the control group on the countertop rotted. They’re perfect. I’m speechless.
If y’all knew and didn’t tell me imma be BIG MAD.
In addition to the enduring popularity of avocados, rising grocery prices at the same time — due in part to harassment and violence within Mexico — likely contributed to the post’s viral spread. Attached images demonstrated the directives in the post, but no information about the source or accuracy of claims about storing avocados in water accompanied the post.
Google Trends data indicated that searches for “avocados in water” began registering on the morning of February 19 2022. Related search activity included the terms “do avocados stay fresh in water,” “do avocados last longer in water,” “do avocados stay good in water,” “storing avocados in water in the fridge,” and “avocados in water in fridge.”
Couch Williams’ post seemed to reference avocados that had not been cut or opened, describing a “control group” of avocados left on the counter in contrast with refrigerated and submerged avocados that lasted for two weeks. Avocado industry site AvocadosFromMexico.com created a video tip (“Keeping Avocados Fresh with Water”) in 2015, but it involved avocado halves that could be stored for “up to three days” in the fridge.
A search on AvocadosFromMexico.com for storing avocados returned a second video tip, “How to Store Avocados.” The brief clip advised avocado owners to store already-ripe avocados in the fridge (not in water) for “2-3 days.” For avocados that had not yet ripened, the group advised storing them outside the fridge, where they would ripen in “4-5 days” — and no other mention of storing avocados in water seemed to exist on the site.
At least one person asked Avocados From Mexico’s verified Twitter account (@AvosFromMexico) about the “avocados in water” hack, but did not seem to get a response. We sent a DM to the account to ask about the claim, but have not yet received a response either; Twitter Advanced Search returned no results for “water” in tweets from or to the account.
Additional search indicated a viral July 2020 TikTok video hack advised storing avocados in water, but once again the tip covered already-sliced avocados, not whole ones.
On February 17 2022, SouthernLiving.com published “We Tried the Avocado Storage Hack That Claims to Keep Ripe Avocados Fresh for Days,” referencing a TikTok video that preceded the very popular Facebook post linked above.
It explained the seemingly identical method of submerging whole avocados in water and storing them in the fridge, adding the conditions under which the author tested the claims:
The method seemed simple enough: You’re supposed to submerge whole avocados in cool water in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. Leave the container there until you’re ready to use. Take it out, dry off the avocados, and enjoy. Luckily, I was heading out on a long weekend trip and had three almost-ripe avocados to conduct a home experiment while I was gone. To measure out the success, I left one avocado out on the counter, one in the vegetable drawer in the fridge, and one submerged in a Tupperware filled with cold water.
The author initiated the experiment on a Wednesday, and examined the three avocados on Sunday. They reported the avocado submerged in water did not appear to have aged “at all,” in contrast with the avocado on the counter (which turned “brown on the inside”):
Avocado #1: The avocado that I left out on the counter was very dark and very squishy. When I cut it open, it was brown on the inside. Ick.
Avocado #2: The avocado that I had put in the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator was dark in color, very soft to the touch, and somehow still perfectly green on the inside. Edible, creamy, delicious—I had definitely opened it at the fleeting moment of peak ripeness. Those Costco avocados never disappoint. If left another day, it probably would have started turning brown.
Avocado #3: To my surprise, the avocado that was submerged whole in water in an airtight container hadn’t aged at all. There were no visible changes that I could tell upon first glance. If only retinol could do as good of a job. When I cut it in half, it wasn’t even ripe enough yet! Visually, it was gorgeous and bright green. However, it was too firm to enjoy, and the seed wouldn’t budge from the center. While I was disappointed that it wasn’t ready to eat, I was impressed that the storage hack had worked, albeit a little too well. (See below for how it looked inside after five days stored in water.)
Food52 published an article about the circulating post. However, the site mainly referenced the SouthernLiving.com piece alongside a Twitter comment as evidence storing whole avocados in water kept them fresh longer.
A viral Facebook post published on February 17 2022 recommended storing whole avocados in water to keep them fresh for up to two weeks. Initial search results from avocado industry site AvocadosFromMexico.com seemed to validate the claim, but it actually involved sliced avocados and a far shorter time-frame — two to three days, not weeks. It was possible AvocadosFromMexico.com’s 2015 advice to submerge cut avocados in water morphed into the advice to store whole avocados in water, but the origin of the storage hack isn’t clear. We asked @AvosFromMexico to clarify the claim, and will update the page when we receive a response.