Bacon lovers entered into a panic yesterday. A recent report from the USDA, supported by the Ohio Pork Council, implied that there could be a bacon shortage poised to hit the U.S. Reserves of pork belly, which is used to make bacon, were down from 35 million pounds in 2015 to just over half of that, or 17.8 million pounds, at the end of 2016. Add to that news, a site titled baconshortage.com launched (though it appears to have since been taken down), and porcine hysteria spread—particularly on Twitter.
But as the New York Times points out, the reserves are just reserves. The U.S. is still producing approximately 75 million pounds of pork belly a week, and pig production is up by 3 percent. Steve Meyer, a consultant for the National Pork Producers Council, explains, "To imply that there’s going to be some shortage of bacon is wrong. There’s plenty of hogs coming. There’s going to be plenty of bacon."
Still, the BBC notes that wholesale pork belly prices are up by 37 percent from last year. While that rise hasn't reached consumers yet, it may in the coming months. Meaning, you'll still be able to bring home the bacon, it just might cost you a little more.
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