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There Will Be NO Bacon Shortage

There Will Be NO Bacon Shortage

Considering the rampant enthusiasm for all things bacon over the last 5 years, it is not surprising that the bacon-loving populace would go into a collective panic when hit with the news of an impending bacon shortage. The news came a few weeks ago in the form of a series of headlines originating from the UK such as, “Global Bacon Shortage ‘Unavoidable’.” But the story (as many stories tend to) got blown way out of proportion. It is not so much a bacon shortage as it is a bacon price hike on the horizon. Maybe the headlines should have read, “Bringing Home the Bacon is Going to Cost More” (not as punchy, I know).

The reason is not lack of pigs, or even the raising of standards and practices; it has to do with corn. The crippling drought that impacted the entirety of the global corn crop, not just the United States. Remember all of those widely circulated shots of withering stalks of corn in July and August – a time when corn should be growing tall and strong? Well the devastation did not just impact the price of your supermarket corn on the cob, the reverberations extended into nearly everything because of the ubiquity of all things corn and the corn-economy that drives modern agriculture. This includes everything from ethanol in your gas tank, to corn syrup in just about everything, to animal feed. The price of animal feed went way up, not just for pigs, but cows and chickens as well. This will lead to fewer animals to feast upon, but nothing close to a shortage. Essentially expect to spend anywhere from 10% to 30% more on that bit of bacon you may love so much.

Now I am in touch with the Care2 audience enough to know that many of you could care less about bacon, meaning that the thought of choking down the fatty flesh of a pig is utterly repugnant to you. But this story is less interesting in the feared result, and more interesting in what it reveals about our unyielding dependence upon the global corn crop. The reverberations from something like this past year’s drought are profound.

What are your thoughts on bacon price hikes and/or our dependency on corn? Do these sorts of things leave you worried and upset, or do you just shrug your shoulders and dole out a few more bucks for that bit of bacon?

Related:
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Olive Oil Shortage!
Bacon Cures Nosebleeds…Of Course It Does!

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

32 comments

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1:11PM PDT on Oct 2, 2012

Feed the pigs acorns. Works in Spain!

10:21AM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

At least I will still be able to get my bacon.

5:55AM PDT on Oct 1, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

2:06PM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Thank god

8:29AM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Bacon prices have been on the increase for years. And it's not good for you anyway, since it is mostly fat!

7:46AM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Bacon is so bad for the planet. Pork, meat in general. If you're so upset about a shortage, you don't belong on this site; you clearly need to get your priorities in check!

7:33AM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

No, no shortage of pigs being killed so we can eat them.

So that's okay then.

5:08AM PDT on Sep 30, 2012

Maybe it's not a bad thing that bacon will cost more being one of the most unhealthy foods around!

7:16PM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

Thank you...

7:09AM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.
Chief Seattle, 1854
----
When all the trees have been cut down,
When all the animals have been hunted,
When all the waters are polluted,
When all the air is unsafe to breathe,
Only then will you discover
You cannot eat money.
Cree Prophecy
----
Treat the earth well.
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors
We borrow it from our Children.
Ancient Indian Proverb
----
The price of anything is the amount of life exchanged for it.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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