No Need To Fear Impending Bacon Shortage
Last Thursday, the United Kingdom’s National Pig Association issued a press release warning about an “unavoidable bacon shortage” predicted to hit next year.
They claimed the scorching heat and droughts that plagued corn and soybean crops this year caused pig-feed prices to soar and sow herds everywhere to shrink. This, they said, would without a doubt lead to a global shortage in bacon. They hoped to hinder the impending disaster by encouraging shoppers to buy locally and increase farmers’ profits through their “Save Our Bacon” campaign.
The NPA’s warning sent the Internet into a frenzy making global headlines, some even suggesting people “start hoarding” the meat. Bacon lovers feared the government would soon be forced to ration their favorite breakfast food. The Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri wrote, “Some say that Hell is the absence of God. For me, Hell is the absence of bacon,” and it seems she was not alone in her sentiment.
Soon after the news broke, officials began their attempts to calm the pork panic.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture assured Americans that there is plenty of frozen pork on reserve and that while there may be a shortage in Europe, its effects will not make it’s way across the pond. The National Pork Board mentioned that there is currently a surplus of the meat and that prices are among the lowest they have seen. Even Iowa Governor Terry Branstad chimed in, calling the unfounded fears a “bunch of baloney”.
One article pointed out that the meat the British refer to as “bacon” is actually made from the back cut of the pig and is more akin to what Americans call “Canadian bacon,” further showing that the NPA claim was untrue.
This is not to say that the drastic weather and poor grain crops this year will have no affect on the pork market.
Prices are inevitably expected to increase for pork products as well as red meats. Experts predict that the price in red meats will rise by as much as 5 percent next year in response to the disasterous harvests. But almost all experts are in agreement that this price jump will not cause a supply shortage anytime soon.
Reach Elysia Rodriguez here.