Drink carefully to save agaves, rather than drinking unconsciously in ways that hurt or diminish them!
Over half of all the 215 species of agaves described to date are among those million species now threatened on the dry, wrinkled face of this earth, the exquisite home that some of us now call Planet Desert. Many of the other thirty-five “mystery” agaves whose taxonomic status is yet to be determined are no doubt rare, threatened, or endangered as well.
So what, where and how mezcal producers source the agaves they use- sustainability or recklessly–makes a world of difference!
We can vote with our purchasing patterns for conserving and even restoring the diversity of agaves, or we can carelessly drink the ones that are putting pressure on rare wild agave populations. The devil is in the details, but fortunately, more and more mezcaleros are explicitly telling consumers about their practices and selections so that each of us can better navigate this complex terrain.
–Gary Paul Nabhan