Editorial: Aporkalypse

“A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable,” reported CNBC. Consumers in the U.S. will see an 8 to 10 percent increase in bacon prices in the next six to eight months.

The Atlantic is calling it the “Aporkalypse” and the Chinese government is building a “strategic pork reserve.” Britain’s National Pig Association is launching a “Save Our Bacon” campaign.

This is one situation when a shortage is not as the result of a lack of demand. Feed shortages of corn and soy products are decreasing the number of pigs in the marketplace, after draughts negatively impacted corn harvests.

Bacon is serious stuff and it’s experiencing the worst shortage at the highest point of its popularity.

In full knowledge of its lack of health value, everyone has an adamant love for the crispy and salty delight known as bacon. The strips of pink perfection have become a pig-out favorite among young people who do not heed cholesterol warnings and ignore a steady stream of Lipitor commercials.

Bacon can make pretty much anything taste good. We prefer our bacon on our burgers, during breakfast, but we’ll take it pretty much anywhere else — in our beer, in our donuts, even in our vodka. While the presence of bacon has proven successful on breakfast menus, there are food items like Burger King’s bacon sundae or bacon sticks dipped in chocolate that take our love for the savory meat too far.

Whether vegetarians like it or not, there is a culture of bacon upheld by the Internet and pork-aficionados everywhere. Some of us like our bacon crispy, near the point of burning, while others like their bacon slightly chewy and with a little texture. But not only do people like eating bacon, they love talking about bacon. In face of the bacon “crisis,” we’d like to revisit some of our favorite bacon points in recent history.

There’s that tribute to Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” where strips of fatty goodness replace the swirls of the night and the woman who constructed a sun-tanning bikini top with bacon pieces.

There’s Voodoo Maple Bacon Ale, Bloody Marys with bacon, vodka bacon, bacon sandwiches as long as a foot and bacon sculptures of Kevin Bacon and Justin Bieber and there are countless bacon memes on the Internet.

While bacon lovers are quick to bemoan the shortage of bacon, it might be a good opportunity for consumers to think about healthier food choices. We can infuse our alcoholic beverages with other tastier treats and we can try fruit in our chocolate sundaes — or at least try turkey bacon.

 

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