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Bacon shortage can and probably will happen

Bacon and avocado are two of America's food obsessions. #Pray4Bacon
bacon
Could bacon replace apple pie as the symbol of Americana? Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Americans don’t do anything half-assed, including eating bacon. If you think we’ve come close to the end of the pork-abilities for this slab of swine, think again.

In February, we were reassured that we weren’t eating ourselves into a (it’s scary just to say the words) bacon shortage, because there’s always plenty of cured side pork at the market.

But pig farmers, a.k.a. bacon angels, are struggling to keep up with demand, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The price for pork belly has catapulted by 80 percent and frozen reserves are at a 60-year low. This year, the national hog herd numbered 71.7 million — 3 percent more than the previous year — while Americans bought 14 percent more bacon in 2016 than in 2013.

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Our nation’s fetish is fueled by, yes, a love of salty, smoky meat, but social media is basically porno for pork lovers. From the swineapple to anything else you can weave a bacon-y basket around, social media has gone whole hog on the pork pics. It’s on BLTs, wrapped around or stuffed into other meats, wrapped around vegetables, crunched up in chocolate or on sundaes.

We don’t mess around.

And don’t forget our fear of carbs. Saturated fat, apparently not so much, but high-protein diets have not gone away since Atkins strutted onto the fad diet scene. Today, paleo and keto diets consider the smoky swine belly an OK food to eat (because cavemen would have totally eaten it).

Not everyone is in love with the idea of killing animals to feed our piggish gluttony.

“Why are we so obsessed with bacon,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk asked during a previous interview, “and not obsessed with saving the lives of smart and sensitive animals?”

Even if you don’t agree with Newkirk, you could try to bend that obsession toward foods like vegan eggplant bacon or stop slacking on Meatless Mondays.

 
 
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