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Monday, February 6, 2017

Where's the Bacon?

That's what some folks (including us) are wondering lately.

That's because the demand for pork belly, the mainstay of bacon, has been outpacing supply.


No kidding
A recent report by the Ohio Pork Council, bacon reserves are at an all-time low here in the U.S. According to the report, pig famers are having a tough time keeping up with the public's taste for the fatty strips. The Pork Council president stated, “Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever. Yet reserves are still depleting.”

Why?
There's not enough piggies going to market. In December 2016, frozen pork belly inventory totaled 17.8 million pounds. While that sounds like a lot, a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture claims it's the lowest level since 1957.

When demand outpaces supply, prices go up. 
The Pork Council reported that pork belly prices increased 20 percent in January. It's not just folks in the U.S. who hanker for bacon. Increased overseas demand as well has apparently caused the decreased inventory.  Fewer pigs are headed to markets in pork-loving China, leading to soaring domestic prices, and a rush of pork imports from the U.S. and elsewhere to fill the gap. U.S. hog farmers export over 25 percent of total production.

The current bacon shortage isn't new. Several years when a worldwide bacon shortage was also looming, Major League Eating announced a suspension of all bacon-eating competitions. At that time, the MLE president said calling off competitions was "the right thing to do" adding “We cannot, in good conscience, allow a top-ranked eater to eat bacon during a global pork shortage . . . when that person alone could eat 20 pounds of bacon in 10 minutes.”

Grenville isn't worried that he won't be able to enjoy eggs and bacon or a BLT sandwich. According to the Pork Council president, “The pork industry will not run out of supply.”

That said, eating low on the hog may just be more costly.

How about you — Are you a bacon fan?

9 comments:

Emma Springfield said...

Have you ever noticed that popular foods seem to be at an all-time low around time for the Super Bowl? I am being skeptical but were there a lot of bacon snacks being touted this year?

Anvilcloud said...

Sometime ago here, they reduced the packaging to something less than a traditional pound. Of course, it's harder to tell here because we label things in grams.

Speaking of which, apparently at JJ's birthday breakfast yesterday, they cooked three pounds -- or packages.

Sandra said...

all three of us love bacon a LOT.. we only eat it maybe once every 2 months because it is so pricey and not good for our health and messy when cooking.. that last is my addition, bob makes the mess and I clean it up. it already cost 5 for a half pound.. this is scary and sad

Connie said...

I like bacon but rarely eat it for health reasons.

William Kendall said...

I haven't noticed- I like bacon with eggs, but I tend to eat my breakfasts on campus, and bacon and eggs aren't an every day sort of thing.

Michelle said...

I love bacon, but try not to eat it too often. Though, I could eat it everyday! lol

Lynn said...

Sigh. I try not to eat it, but I love it so.

Anvilcloud said...

Just read your Brother as-yet-unposted post.

I figure if you care much about photos stick with Epson and Canon, but otherwise, it probably doesn't matter.

Jenny Woolf said...

I like bacon but I don't eat it these days because it is too salty. And fatty. Which is partly what makes it delicious of course!

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