Earlier in the week, it was widely reported that 2013 would bring a “bacon shortage,” as rising pork prices would eventually drive up demand for bacon to the point where it would be almost impossible to find. However, even after falling for the story themselves, NBC News is reporting that the bacon shortage is hogwash.
So far, the only source with any real evidence of a pork shortage is Britain’s National Pig Association. A press release from the organization stated that due to inflating costs for hog meal, many farmers are simply selling off their pigs, meaning that “A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable.”
However, looking at the press release, it appears simply to be encouraging British shoppers to purchase pork and bacon from British farmers, rather than Americans and Europeans. “In its Save Our Bacon campaign, NPA is asking shoppers to make a point of selecting pork and bacon with the British independent Red Tractor logo,” the press release reads.
In short, the “bacon shortage” is simply a campaign to bolster sales of locally raised British pork. While there is a hint of truth in the story, the British Pig Association’s claims are wildly misrepresented.
It’s true that this summer’s drought will soon be contributing to a rise in food prices. As corn and soy grow more expensive, so will hog feed and eventually pork products themselves. But this is expected to be a temporary issue, and a much smaller problem that the press release says.
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According to NBC News, “The release also warned that prices could rise as much as 10 percent. The USDA has forecast only a 2.5 to 3.5 percent increase.”
That means that while your bacon might become slightly more expensive over the next year or so, you won’t have to duke it out with fellow shoppers just to get your hands on the main ingredient in a BLT.
“It's a challenging time because of drought, for both consumers and producers and food costs will rise,” Cindy Cunningham of the National Pork Board told NBC News. However, she states that America is “not going to see people in line for bacon... there will be no bacon rationing.”