Hear About the Bacon Shortage? Don't Worry, It's Not As Bad As You Think
The whole thing was a huge misunderstanding.
On Wednesday, it seems the whole country erupted in a mild panic after reading headlines about a perceived bacon shortage after pork belly reserves hit a 50-year low. Turns out, it was all a hoax: there's still plenty of bacon to go around for everyone.
The New York Times reports that the initial scare came from a report by the USDA that was then boosted by the Ohio Pork Council, claiming that the country's frozen pork belly inventory was the lowest it's been in half a century. In fact, it was down more than 35 million pounds from 2015, leaving us with just 17.8 million pounds of the greasy meat slices we love to indulge in on cheat day. (Read: The Best Bacon Dishes We've Ever Seen)
"Today's pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever," Rich Deaton, the president of the Ohio Pork Council said in a statement. "Yet our reserves are still depleting."
Several news outlets (we're not naming any names) reported the news after the council took things a step further, creating baconshortage.com to further fan the flames. The site has since been deactivated.
But earlier today, Steve Meyer, vice president of pork analysis for EMI Analytics, set the record straight. "To imply that there's going to be some shortage of bacon is wrong," he told the Times. "There's plenty of hogs coming. There's going to be plenty of bacon."
He continued to confirm that while the frozen pork belly inventory is the lowest it's been in a while-and has caused prices to go up 50 cents a pound-"it's not as if we're going to run out of bacon."
The Ohio Pork Council has also come forward to comment on the updated situation, claiming it was simply a good marketing opportunity.
"If somebody Googled that, they'd get on [baconshortage.com], and the information there is actually to quell the fears that we're going to run out," he said. "The demand is high and us pig farmers, not only in Ohio but throughout the U.S., have risen to the occasion and are going to meet that demand."
According to Meyer, the U.S. is producing about 75 million pounds of pork belly every week, so it's safe to say we can all rest in peace knowing our favorite breakfast food is not in danger of running out anytime soon.