Do you love bacon? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? It’s flavorful, fatty, and (if cooked correctly, no debate on this point) crunchy. Americans. Love. Bacon.
We love bacon so much, in fact, that demand has outpaced supply and prices for pork belly are hitting record highs. According to the Wall Street Journal, the price of the part of the pig used for bacon is up 80 percent this year. Market-research company Nielsen found Americans bought 14 percent more bacon in 2016 than in 2013.
As Dan Norcini, a livestock trader from Idaho, told the Wall Street Journal, “Everybody and their mother is coming out with a new bacon sandwich.”
And why wouldn’t they? Bacon measurably makes your life better. Look at this list of headlines the AJC has run in the past two years as proof:
This is the problem, though. We’re eating so much bacon that the pork stores are running out. The WSJ noted that retailers’ stocks of pork bellies is at a 20-year low. The price is so high they’d rather sell the pork bellies (turned bacon) in stock than buy more at the record-high prices.
But, this doesn’t mean we’re facing a porkopalypse. It just means you might have to pay more for your bacon burger in the future.
That news was not comforting to social media, though, which saw the headline and immediately did two things: 1) Celebrated how amazing bacon is:
And 2) panicked.
One analyst told the WSJ high pork belly prices made restaurants slice bacon more thinly or promote other red-meat alternatives, like sausage. Hopefully this horrifying dystopia of flimsy bacon will not come to pass.