They once said it was endless. That we could draw from its vast and limitless stocks for a million years or more. We were careless, and we were foolish.
Reports are now saying the nation’s supply of bacon is at its lowest point in 60 years.
From USA Today:
The Ohio Pork Council, a Columbus-based non-profit, reported Tuesday that demand for frozen pork belly, frequently made into bacon, is outpacing supply.
“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” said Rich Deaton, president of the organization. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”
Scientists and whistle blowers have been ringing the alarm bells for years, but we didn’t listen. The temptation to have bacon in everything, to enrich our lives with its sweet, fatty, American flavor was too much. And so we pushed onwards, creating deep dish pizza with bacon crusts, bacon infused toothpaste, mustache wax, bacon stuffed donuts.
Have we reached Peak Bacon?
As usual, the news media got it wrong. Bacon won’t be going away anytime soon, but our “strategic reserve” of frozen pork belly is what’s depleting.
From The New York Times:
The source of the anxiety was a recent report from the U.S.D.A. which reported that the country’s frozen pork belly inventory was at its lowest point in half a century. At the end of 2016, the reserves held just 17.8 million pounds, down more than 35 million pounds from the year prior.
Why is it depleting? The reserve acts like a reserve of any commodity, stored product to control the price and availability of a good to protect against volatility. It is reported that increased foreign demand has reduced the supply enough to affect the reserve this year, i.e. farmers are storing less.
But let’s just go back to that for a second: the United States has a “strategic reserve” for bacon. Badass.
Despite the fact that your double bacon cheeseburger will be safe for the foreseeable future, activists are already calling for a move towards alternative, renewable bacon sources, like this seaweed that tastes like pork belly. Fortunately, nobody is listening to these people..
Image via Youtube