The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Avocado Toast Is Not The Symbol of Societal Decline We Think It Is

How the brunch staple has unfairly tarnished the name of millennial and Gen. Z classes
Torch Photo / Elizabeth Kaufmann

On Jan. 17, Fox News program “Outnumbered” featured Emily Compagno, David Webb, Kayleigh McEnany, Cheryl Casone and Kaylee McGhee. The crew went back and forth in a segment on younger generations living with their parents longer than previously reported and what that means in relation to the state of the country. The segment caption read as such, “Gen Z survey: 27% say they can’t afford their rent.”

According to a survey done by Credit Karma reported on by The Hill, 31 percent still live at home — myself included — so of the 69 percent that rent or live elsewhere, 27 percent of those cannot afford their current living conditions. The panel of five went on to discuss a number of reasons why this is, but the predominant idea placed most of the blame on odd luxuries. 

The script reads as such:

Emily Compagno when talking about the financial crisis of Gen-Z living at home says, “everyone is stuck.”

David Webb: “Stuck and going nowhere…you can’t import poverty into the cities or lower income areas and expect success. When rent in New York is $5000 a month in Manhattan, you as Gen-zers are not earning enough money… you don’t start out as CEO of the company, you don’t start in the ensuite, maybe not even in management. Parents need to give tough love and get kids more responsibility, personal responsibility, and if they do that, they will have a better chance. Bidenomics means many don’t have that opportunity.”

Kayleigh McEnany: “It’s a numbers game, you can’t afford it, you can’t have it.”

Compagno: “If you stay home, you’ll save money, enough avocado toasts and $6 Starbucks, no Stanley Cup.” 

Compagno makes the closing statements before the program cuts to commercial. 

I love avocado toast, so that final note by Compagno really got me thinking. Let’s do the math — a 30 oz. Stanley Cup is a single (if you’re not a fanatic) payment of 35 dollars plus tax. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say someone gets Starbucks every day at six dollars a cup. According to David Webb’s roundabout payment, three hundred and sixty-five  days in a year at six dollars adds up to 2,190 dollars — not even half of a month’s rent in Manhattan..  

Now doing the same for avocado toast. Where I’m from on Long Island, avocados are usually three for five dollars or roughly that at the grocery stores — depending if I’m at Whole Foods, Stop n’ Shop, or the local chain, Guintas. My bread of choice, Nature’s Own Brioche Style, is roughly four dollars. So nine dollars. 

When I make avocado toast, I use half an avocado per toast. Thus, three avocados give six meals for nine dollars. Even if you go to a restaurant and get the famous combo, which I’ve done, it usually comes with fun additives like tomatoes,  cheeses like feta or burrata, an egg and other nice compliments. Added frills do jack up the price, but I’ve never enjoyed any toast over 13 dollars — it’d be absurd to charge anything more. 

Not looking to single out the members of “Outnumbered,” I must point out that the discourse surrounding the common breakfast item’s lavishness has been circulating for years. This idea that we should shame folks who choose certain breakfast items because their money should be going elsewhere is incredibly out of touch.  

The Hill mentioned, “Rising housing costs aren’t just impacting America’s youngest adults…while that percentage is more pronounced among Gen Z, it is highest among millennials — 30 percent of whom told Credit Karma they can no longer make rent. Ten percent of Americans 69 and older also said they are struggling to make rent payments.”

Not only is this issue non-discriminatory towards age, but the article also goes on to say, “Multiple factors have contributed to rising housing prices including inflation, a boom in demand and low inventory, according to Bankrate. While rent prices have slightly dropped, the median cost of housing is still too much for many Americans.”

So what’s the deal? 

If this issue affects people of all demographics, why point fingers? Is it the frivolousness of young people spreading un-Western produce over fluffy bread as they get ready to start their days of frivolous young people activities? Is it because a classically low income group is choosing to opt for a healthy option and not a McGriddle (which is one meal for the same price as three avocados, which we know gives us six)? 

Those with platforms point fingers because it’s easier than fixing the actual problem. The real way we know we’re at a point of societal decline is that we deem food a luxurious expense. If a broke college student was buying high-end cars and fancy vacations, sure, that’d be excessive. 

But it’s an avocado. And bread. There’s really nothing all that society crumbling about that.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Torch
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. John's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Elizabeth Kaufmann, Opinion Editor & Human Resources Manager
Liz is a senior English major serving as the Human Resources Manager. Having been with The Torch since the start of her freshman year, Liz has held multiple positions within the publication and has loved every second of it. Being from Long Island, Liz commutes to the Queens campus. Liz self identifies as a reader, a writer, a coffee enthusiast and a specialist in long walks.  Liz can be reached at [email protected]

Donate to The Torch
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *