United States (Sputnik) – Pork professionals are reporting that bacon reserves in the US are at their lowest point in 50 years. On Tuesday, Columbus-based nonprofit The Ohio Pork Council stated that supplies of the highly-processed frozen pork-belly products cannot keep up with the demand.
Council president Rich Deaton said, “Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever…Yet our reserves are still depleting.” According to the US Department of Agriculture, the country’s pork belly inventory came to roughly 17.8 million pounds in December 2016, the lowest level since 1957.
This has caused an increase in prices, which have risen 20 percent since January, according to the council. The organization noted that hog farmers export about 26 percent of the meat they produce, and posited that foreign demand could be to blame for the deficit.
Deaton remarked, “While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured the pork industry will not run out of supply.”
The passion Americans have for bacon has spawned innumerable novelty products, including bacon-themed jewelry; bacon-flavored candy, soda, and chocolate; bacon-scented incense and body wash; bacon-flavored liquor, and even bacon-scented underwear.
In 2015, the World Health Organization named bacon and other processed meat products as some of the most cancer-causing edible substances in existence, adding the highly-processed meat product to its ‘encyclopedia of carcinogens.’
This report prepared by Sputnik.