Don’t Panic About Bacon

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Bacon is not flying off the shelves, but its price will probably rise somewhat in the next few months.

The global bacon crisis does not exist, despite recent headlines suggesting otherwise. Slate writes:

“Bacon Shortage Worldwide ‘Unavoidable’ UK Pig Group Says” was CNBC’s headline, while CBS went with “Global Bacon Shortage ‘Unavoidable,’ Group Says.” Up in Canada, the CBC offered the pithier “Global Bacon Shortage ‘Unavoidable.’” The news made the Huffington Post and even the Washington Post’s weather blog (“Weather a factor in looming global bacon shortage”).

Given the rise of bacon worship in recent years, perhaps it’s no surprise that people are upset at the thought of a bacon shortage. But is the shortage real? And does it even have anything to do with bacon in particular? Are we headed for a dystopian future of food lines and bacon rationing?

Not really. But you probably will have to pay more.

It all goes back to corn. (And reporters freaking out over a foreign trade group’s press release.) Slate, like us, warned this summer’s drought would affect corn prices, which would in turn affect the price of a lot of things – including bacon. However, “In our economy there will still be plenty of bacon on the shelves, just priced high enough to deter some people from eating as much of it as usual,” Slate writes.

The good news is that bacon is still cheaper than it was 12 months ago. And next year it might be cheaper still, thanks to drought-resistant corn seed.

Stacy Johnson

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