America’s Bacon Supply Is Seriously Depleted; Prices Surge

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OHIO (CBSDFW.COM) We think you should sit down for this — are you ready? There’s no easy way to say this, but, we might have a bacon problem.

According to the Ohio Pork Council, demand for bacon has reached a point where it may exceed supply.

“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” said Rich Deaton, Ohio Pork Council president. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”

The problem is the frozen pork belly reserve, which is typically what bacon is derived from. In December, the inventory was at 17.8 million pounds. That sounds like a lot but it’s the lowest it’s been since 1957, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

It doesn’t take a business degree to deduct that when demand outweighs supply, prices surge. Those prices have increased 20-percent in January.

Part of the “shortage” can be blamed on exports — more than a quarter of all bacon produced in the U.S. is sold abroad.

We’ll end this on a good note, though: bacon isn’t going to gone from our lives. Deaton said, “While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured pork industry will not run out of supply.”

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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