Pork belly reserves are at their lowest in 60 years
via Flickr user (cc) cyclonebill
Many Americans considered 2016 to be one of the worst years in recent memory with its rash of celebrity deaths and the election of a president the majority of us didn’t vote for. But 2017 is already bringing its own brand of crazy, a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture said the U.S.’s pork belly supply is at its lowest point since 1957. The report has many Americans fearing a shortage of its favorite breakfast staple: bacon.
“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” said Rich Deaton, president of the Ohio Pork Council. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.” The council’s report mirrors that of the U.S. Department of Agriculture who announced in December that the country’s frozen pork belly inventory totaled 17.8 million pounds, down 35 million pounds from the year before. The reason for the diminishing supply is a huge rise in foreign demand.
If you’re thinking of buying a large commercial freezer to stock up on bacon, there’s no reason to do so just yet. “To imply that there’s going to be some shortage of bacon is wrong,” Steve Meyer, vice president of pork analytics at EMI Analytics told The New York Times. “There’s plenty of hogs coming. There’s going to be plenty of bacon.” But you may want to save up some money, because the price of bacon is on the rise. According to Meyer, frozen pork belly has gone up 50 cents a pound over the last two months.