If you heard the phrases “bacon shortage” and “2017” this morning and started sweating like a hog on its way to slaughter, take a deep breath.
The council reported pork belly reserves were nearly cut in half last year and are down to just 17.8 million pounds, leading council president Rich Deaton to say the reserves are “depleting.” However, as The New York Times points out, the reserves are “just that”: overstock. Even though the price of frozen pork belly has risen in recent months, there isn’t anything to worry about.
“To imply that there’s going to be some shortage of bacon is wrong,” Steve Meyer, the VP of pork analysis for EMI Analytics, said while chewing the fat with the paper. “There’s plenty of hogs coming. There’s going to be plenty of bacon.” Meyer went on to say that three percent more pigs are going to slaughtered this year than last — a record-breaking amount — and that “bacon production will be higher than it’s ever been.”
Considering the USDA reported there was actually a bacon surplus as recently as early last year, we’ll side with The Times and Meyer on this one.
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