The Reason These Food Scientists Are Turning Avocado Pits Into A Drink

You've probably heard the running joke that Twinkies can last forever — NPR calls them the "cockroaches of the snack food world." On a similar, more serious note, you've likely heard that chewing gum doesn't decompose due to the chemicals it contains (via How Stuff Works). Both of these make reasonable sense.

But did you know that even leftover bits of fruits and veggies can stick around for years, refusing to break down? According to Popular Science, orange and banana peels tossed away can sit for as long as two years before they start to decompose. And eHow says that fruit pits (such as those from cherries, peaches, and avocados) can take up to 10 years to fully disintegrate.

So what are people supposed to do with all those pits just sitting around? They aren't exactly biodegradable, so they're going to sit and sit and sit whether they're in the landfill or in a compost bin. Sure, you could use the pit to grow a new plant or dye some fabric, but what else can you do with it — how about make a drink? As new beverage company Reveal shows, it's possible.

Repurposing avocado pits can be tasty and environmentally-friendly

Food scientists Sheetal Bahirat and Zuri Masud wanted to find a way to use every part of the avocado, including the pit, according to Thrillist. By up-cycling the pit, they thought, some food waste can be kept out of landfills. Even better, the pits are edible and contain antioxidants, so they're actually really good for you.

Avocado pits are rock hard, so it was a challenge to find a way to repurpose them for consumption, according to Bahirat and Masud. But they found a way to do so and created the first-of-its-kind beverage company Reveal that produces a ready-to-drink brew made with avocado pit extract — described by Thrillist as a mix of iced tea and kombucha. Only three flavors are currently in production: mango ginger, rose mint, and grapefruit lavender. To source their avocado pits — something that the duo said was initially more difficult than they thought — they partner with area restaurants and farmer's markets.

Although the avocado seed brew seems pretty groundbreaking, Bahirat says people in Mexico, Nigeria, and Tanzania have been using avocado pit extract for its health benefits for a long time (a point furthered by Bon Appétit). While this might not be something you can do at home, you can certainly hop on the composting bandwagon and dispose of your food waste responsibly. Oh, and you can enjoy some of Reveal's drinks as you do so. 

"We want to spread the message that even the parts of food that we throw away are useful if we try," Bahirat told Thrillist. "Building businesses and systems that try to utilize everything we are growing will have a huge impact on how sustainable our food systems will be in the future."