Watch out, meat lovers. The BLT sandwich at your favorite diner might be sporting fakin’ bacon come next year.
In a recent MSN article, the British Pig Association claimed a worldwide bacon shortage is “unavoidable” in 2013 as pig farmers are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of feeding their animals after this year’s rising corn and grain prices.
Next year’s pork availability is predicted to be the lowest per capita since 1975 and there currently has been a surge of pigs sent to slaughter as farmers try to reduce their livestock, Bloomberg reports.
As someone aiming to be a vegetarian, the bacon drought shouldn’t hurt my go-to dinner options that much. But bacon is one of the most “American” foods around and has been popping up on menus in more and more unusual places recently, including Burger King’s infamous bacon sundae and Jack In The Box’s bacon shake. Retailer Archie McPhee even sells a bacon air freshener for the truly die-hard fanatics.
The upcoming shortage is one that isn’t going unnoticed. Futures for the product have fallen significantly this week, Bloomberg reports, and prices for the pork product are predicted up to 30 percent, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Major League Eating also addressed the shortage by cancelling all of its 2013 bacon contests until the bacon supply bounces back.
“We cannot, in good conscience, allow Joey Chestnut to eat bacon during a global pork shortage,” said MLE President Richard Shea, in a press release on the league’s website. “We estimate that Joey alone could eat 20 pounds of bacon in 10 minutes of competition.”
Although the league’s cancellation might be the most frivolous consequence of the shortage, hog farmers are anticipated to take huge losses this year, which likely will not be resolved until corn and grain prices stabilize at lower levels and global rainfall increases from this year’s drought conditions in many areas.
Unfortunately, that might not happen anytime soon.
In Bloomberg’s report, a Minnesota farmer anticipated he will only sell about 6,000 pigs this year instead of his 15,000 average and he doesn’t have bright predictions for the future.
“It could easily get worse than that,” he told the publication.