Crispy, crunchy, fragrant, savory — it’s no mystery that Americans love our bacon. But we’re eating so much of it lately that our nation’s bacon reserves — yes, that exists — are at their lowest levels in 50 years.
According to the Ohio Pork Council, a non-profit out of Columbus, the demand for frozen pork belly, which is often made into bacon, is outstripping supply because pig farmers just can’t keep up.
“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” Rich Deaton, president of the organization, tells USA Today. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”
As USA Today puts it, “There are literally not enough little piggies going to market.” In Dec. 2016, America’s frozen pork belly inventory stood at 17.8 million pounds, which is the lowest it’s been since 1957 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This means when we go to the market, prices might be a bit higher: Pork belly prices spiked 20% in January, the council reports. Increased demand from overseas may have also contributed to the dip in inventory.
Despite the low inventory, there will be enough bacon to satisfy our country.
“While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured pork industry will not run out of supply,” said Deaton.
Want more stories from Consumerist? We’re a non-profit! You can get more stories like this in our twice weekly ad-free newsletter! Click here to sign up.