Is The Bacon-pocalypse Nigh?

Feb 1, 2017

What will be the B in a BLT if bacon-pocalype is nigh?
Credit Ohio Pork Council

It seems America is heading toward bacon-pocalypse.

With headlines blaring across news sites and newspapers stating "Nation's bacon reserves hit 50-year low."

Now I know what you’re thinking …  Wait, America has a national bacon reserve?

The truth is out there. Is it, like, some kind of Fort Knox with freezers … hidden deep in the Montana woods and guarded by a secretive special forces group comprised solely of vegetarian Marines known as Detachment 8?

"Well I wish it was but it’s not a matter of national security," laughs Steve Meyers, before adding, "though us bacon lovers think it is." Meyers is vice president of pork analysis for EMI Analytics, which means boy does he know bacon.

The National Bacon Reserve is just a fancy name given to a monthly government survey "that reports on the inventories of various items held by individual companies all over the country in freezers."

Big companies that buy up pork bellies, which end up being cut into those marbled strips of joyous bacon.

But even though the bacon reserve is just an inventory, it really is at a 50-year low. And that is surprising, says Meyers.  "Well, it’s just been exceptional demand this fall. Normally we build stocks by over 30 million pounds from the end of September to the end of December. And this year we drew those stocks down by 7 million pounds."

Pork production is expected to rise this year. Still, with demand so high, Meyers says the cost of bacon is expected to rise for consumers a bit, but "as I always tell people bacon makes everything better and so I think the price is well worth it."

And for our vegetarian and vegan listeners I have some good news. The armored greenhouses that comprise the American Kale Bank are still fully stocked.

OK, I made that last bit up.