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Global Bacon Shortage 'Unavoidable' 293

New submitter The name is Dave. Ja debuts on the front page with the most dismal news of our time: "This is truly 'Stuff That Matters'. Where would civilization be today without bacon? I don't mean to be alarmist but ... sound the alarms! This is big — it could lead to civil unrest." Yes, a bacon shortage. Hopefully what bacon there is will be more delicious after being fed with gummi worms.
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Global Bacon Shortage 'Unavoidable'

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  • What? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Xeno man ( 1614779 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:18PM (#41455005)
  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:21PM (#41455047)
    It just means bacon will be more expensive.

    There will be less cheap bacon to go around, but there will always be bacon.
    • "but there will always be bacon."

    • This has to be a joke...
      First, Bacon is a byproduct of other pork products. It's the tough belly meat nobody wanted ... That some brilliant marketeer figured out how to sell. (And trading pork bellies became stuff of legend...)

      this is BAD NEWS for Thinkgeek. Slashdot's FORMER partner in crime. It's a good thing Slashdot got out of Gerkznet when they did. Any interruption in the flow of bacon-based products is gonna shut those guys down. Hard. At least the wont drag Slashdot with them!!!

      • Re:Uh, no (Score:5, Informative)

        by magarity ( 164372 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:35PM (#41455327)

        Umm, no. A lot of modern items are the result of clever marketing of previously unused material but bacon is not one of them: []

      • Re:Uh, no (Score:4, Informative)

        by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @07:03PM (#41457335) Journal

        First, Bacon is a byproduct of other pork products. It's the tough belly meat nobody wanted

        What Americans call bacon, Aussies call "stringy bacon". It's called "stringy" because of the strings of fat in it, it's rubbish, it's only good for adding flavor to soups and stews. Short cut bacon (common here in Oz) is like lean ham, yes it comes from pork bellies but it won't clog your arteries like American bacon does.

  • According to one article, on average people consume 42 pounds of bacon a year. I figure a good freezer in the garage should hold enough for 3 or 4 years. Time to start stocking up.

    • Actually this would be a fantastic time to hoard. Contrary to the narrative in the article, the price of pork is down right now - not because grocery chains are "paying less per pig" - but because the farmers are all unloading their pigs on the market at once, creating a glut. I don't know how long bacon keeps in a deep freeze, but it probably makes sense to stock up if you are already running the deep freeze anyway... otherwise it's a pretty expensive way to save money :)

      • > W..w..W - Willy Waterloo washes Warren Wiggins who is washing Waldo Woo.

        Awww. I used to read that to my daughter. She's too old to read to now. Camel on the ceiling! C C C. Now I'm depressed.

        • Mine's too old for that book now, too. But fortunately there's still the boy a few years behind her :)

  • Meh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by frostfreek ( 647009 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:22PM (#41455077)

    Who's gonna notice when the Earth becomes unliveable due to climate change?

            * Tornadoes... Droughts... Floods...
            * Bacon Shortage, like OMG???

    • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

      Who's gonna notice when the Earth becomes unliveable due to climate change?

              * Tornadoes... Droughts... Floods...

              * Bacon Shortage, like OMG???

      You'll just have to put up with Shakespeare.


      I'll get me coat.

    • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @06:50PM (#41457161)
      You can hide from natural disasters. You can't hide from bacon shortages. It doesn't matter where you live, come next year... the shortages are coming to a table near you. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
  • by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:23PM (#41455107)
    . . . and now this. It's like a war on breakfast.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:23PM (#41455117)

    Venkman: Or you can accept the fact that this city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
            Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
            Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath-of-God type stuff!
            Venkman: Exactly.
            Stanz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the sky! Rivers and seas boiling!
            Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes!
            Winston Zeddmore: The dead rising from the grave!
            Venkman: Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!
            Mayor: Enough! I get the point! And what if you're wrong?
            Venkman: If we're wrong, then nothing happens. We go to jail, peacefully, quietly. We'll enjoy it. But if we're right, and we can stop this thing... Lenny, you will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters.

  • Where will we get the toppings for the Bacon Shakes? There's no way we can live with synthetic Bacon Flavored toppings on our Shakes!

  • How can we have a Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve [] without one for Bacon???
  • by ctrl-alt-canc ( 977108 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:27PM (#41455161)
    ...please learn about the pork cycle [].
  • Hooray! Finally, disaster porn I can really get worked up about!

    Don't listen to those mother hubbards at Chick-fil-a: chicken is not the answer! We need more pork! Porking is the answer. Wait, what type of porn were we talking about again?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:27PM (#41455167) Journal

    So, if I understand this correctly, the price of feeding pigs is rising. However, despite their theoretically being a 'market' for pig products and demand for pig products holding steady, it has not been possible for the price of pork products to reflect the cost of producing them, causing pork production to start shutting down, thus setting us up for a price spike in the near future....

    Could somebody summon the invisible hand? I have a beating that needs delivering...

    • This reminds me of how the MSM trots out an oil industry "expert" right before they're about to jack up gas prices that we migght be looking at $5/gallon. Then when it only goes to 4 we all act giddy like our weekly shower rape stopped 5 minutes ahead of schedule.

    • Yeah, the narrative in the article is pretty bad. The feed got too expensive to make raising pigs at the current market price profitable, and the farmers know that if the price goes up, the demand will go down. So they unload their pigs now to cut their losses. A lot of farmers had this same idea, so there is a glut of pigs on the market and the prices are really low. Soon there won't be as many pigs laying around, and prices will go up. This despite the likelihood of feed going down in price as demand weak

    • Part of the problem probably relates to the time lag to get pigs market ready and the immediate results of feed price increases. In the very short term the hog farmers may have to harvest their herd early, particularly if they cannot afford more expensive feed. This pushes supply up and that drives prices down, further exacerbating the pricing situation (from the standpoint of the farmer, at least.) The market cannot respond the same way a factory does by simply reducing the number of units produced. The im

    • Seems perfectly normal, to me. A temporary shortage of feed (corn), due to weather in the Midwest, has caused an imbalance. There is currently an over-production of hogs, which must be cleared by sending them to market. When the supply of feed returns to normal, input costs will decline, and hog production will return to equilibrium with input costs and demand. The invisible hand seems to be working just fine.

      Corn producers and hog producers _can_ hedge their risk (TFA not withstanding). Much of the pr

  • You can have all the bacon I don't eat.

    You're welcome.

    • Yeah, but nobody gets the missing corn that started this whole mess in the first place. Neither you or the pigs. I guess we all get gummy worms.
      • I guess we all get gummy worms.

        They're made with gelatin. If there isn't enough pork for bacon, they will also be unable to make gummi worms, wine gums, licorice, jelly babies, gummi bears, etc.

        Everybody will have to end up eating... vegan candy.

    • by Guppy06 ( 410832 )

      The proper response is "You insensitive clods!"

    • by mr1911 ( 1942298 )
      So you are saying bacon is not a vegetable?

      Crap! And I thought I was doing so well following the food pyramid.
      • by rk ( 6314 )

        I had a friend who claimed to be a vegetarian, and that pepperoni becomes a vegetable when applied to pizza. I'm not sure on the science behind that, but I figure he was the vegetarian.

      • Of course it is, it's like veal. Veal bush, bacon tree.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:48PM (#41455549)

      I love it when vegetarians prove my favorite joke about them right...

      'How can you tell a vegetarian... don't worry... they willl ALWAYS tell you.'

  • There's not going to be a "shortage", there'll just be what always happens when supply and/or demand change: the prices will adjust to a new equilibrium. Over the past 100 years, pork and bacon have sometimes cost more, and sometimes cost less. It's not really a huge deal. If the prices go up, you can choose to pay them, or buy something else instead.

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

      So basically, there's going to be a reduced supply that will cause prices to increase until demand is reduced to match. Got it. No shortage, it's just a shortage.

      • by Trepidity ( 597 )

        A shortage typically means that you actually can't buy something. Like, a "fuel shortage" is when people are lining up around the block to buy gasoline because most stations are out of fuel. When gas goes up from $2.00 to $3.00, that's not a "fuel shortage".

        • I dunno. If I can't afford $3.00 for gas, I can't buy it... and, by your definition, actually being unable to buy something is a shortage.

          Just sayin'.

  • by rbrausse ( 1319883 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:31PM (#41455237)

    you should read the original press releases [], a nice little campaign preparing the masses that price increases are in order.

    British supermarkets can protect consumers [..] if they pay Britain's loss-making pig farmers a fair price

    In its Save Our Bacon campaign, NPA is asking shoppers to make a point of selecting pork and bacon with the British independent Red Tractor logo

    Governments are becoming increasingly concerned

    And I simply _love_ the phrase "Pig industry leaders" :)

  • 'at'll do, pig, 'at'll do.
  • Yes it could -- such a shortage could have grave consequences for civilians everywhere. Alas, I never thought there would come a day when a cavia porcellus would be given badge and a gun .
    Just kidding,
    - Sgt. Oink
  • by RobbieCrash ( 834439 ) * on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:34PM (#41455313)

    The environmental toll of hog farming is massive [].

  • You pigs!
  • by Tancred ( 3904 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:36PM (#41455347)

    The Norse will be alright - Sæhrímnir will be eaten (providing "the best of bacons") and brought back to life the next day. []

  • by MiniMike ( 234881 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:38PM (#41455371)

    Look on the bright side- this also has to mean there will be less spam in the future!

  • Anyone remember this headline [] from last week? Suddenly that guy seems like he's ahead of the times. Imagine how much 3000 pounds of bacon could buy you, especially if the price of it doubles.

    Alternatively, anyone know where he is right now? I might be very willing to barter with him at this point.

  • Thank god for ham and pork chops!
  • So why are politicians wasting valuable time on such trivial nonsense as the economy, jobs, healthcare and the Middle East, when there is a genuine, honest-to-goodness global crisis going on?

    This should be one of those rare moments that bring politicians of all ilk together to solve this. We need a bacon Apollo project, or a bacon Manhattan project.

  • The poster actually believes feeding pigs gummi bears is unusual enough to hotlink? Pigs are omnivores. They are fed grains, vegetable scraps, leftovers from meals, chicken carcasses, and whatever else has protein and may or may not have some amount of rot on it.

  • It's treated like this is the way we always raised food when the truth is factory farming is less than a 100 years old and it didn't take over until the 60s. All the problems we are having with food production are directly related to factory farming. Also the fact that middle men are allowed to force farmers to sell below cost and let farmers survive on federal farm aid. I ran onto this site a year ago where this family is field raising pigs on grass then supplimenting their diet with free milk curd from a
    • by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @06:24PM (#41456775)

      All the problems we are having with food production are directly related to factory farming.

      We're not actually having any problems and the price fluctuations that are occurring are not caused by so-called 'factory' farming. The problem is that high yield agriculture is concentrated in too few places.

      Consider hogs; 80.9% of all hog production [] comes from two places; the US and China. One is coping with an outlier drought and the other is dealing with a rapidly growing domestic demand for meat. That leaves the rest of the planet out in the cold.

      The solution is rising prices. Nations and people that have complacently relied on a few "bread basket" sources of supply have discovered fresh motivation for producing commodities. There is a boom [] in S. American agriculture as a result. This phenomenon is planet wide [].

      This is ultimately a good thing. Less reliance on those few traditional "break basket" nations will create supply stability, to say nothing of the self sufficiency of new third world bread baskets.

      You, being the rich, comfortable malcontent you've been trained to be, will see this as a tragedy, while you simultaneously accelerate the process with your ill considered policies []. As with the evacuation of our industry, the evacuation of our agriculture to the third world has begun.

      So go to work and dream up lots of new regulation for domestic agriculture in your home nation. Don't stop until anything more productive than a hobby farm has been eradicated. The rest of the world will take up the slack because people are going to feed themselves whether you like it or not.

  • And out of the ashes of the Old World the New World rose. A world where everything was paid for in bacon.
  • by Alex ( 342 )

    A story that won't cause a bad reaction in the middle east.


  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @05:08PM (#41455837)

    ... I suspect that al Qaida is behind this.

  • Sorry, but that's just Western POV - most of countries don't have big traditions on bacon. Chicken, fish, vegetables, fruits, seafood, bread - you name it. I have cut my bacon intake almost to minimum and have never felt better. Saying this, having bacon now and there is nice, but I won't revolt if it's suddenly will cost twice. It can push prices of other products eventually though.

    With all anti GM craze going around, I wonder what naturalist school of food would offer us practically, taking feeding people

  • A shortage of bacon and other delicious pork products is definitely a bad thing.

    However, pig is used in practically anything consumable.

    And, by consumable, I don't mean edible. That is, unless you eat bullets and drink paint.

  • by Un pobre guey ( 593801 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @05:33PM (#41456159) Homepage

    ... just stop eating meat.

    I know, I know, you like meat, maybe even a lot. I get it, I'm not trying to convince you of some wacky dogma or spiritual doctrine. But based strictly on the economics of meat production, and its disastrous ecological effects, not to mention the fact that you probably don't need much meat in your diet, might you consider eating meat only a couple of times a week? If everyone in the U.S. did that, there would be far less animal waste, far less consumption of potable water, significant overall health improvements, and attractive cost savings for consumers. BTW, by meat I mean any kind of animal tissue, not just beef or pork. Just to spell it out, that would include fish, poultry, venison, animal flesh of any kind, and maybe eggs.

    Certainly it would include bacon.

  • by Crypto Gnome ( 651401 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @06:17PM (#41456671) Homepage Journal
    So the megafarms who're raising pig-meat in factories are finding their business unsustainable due to their (quite frankly bizarre) feeding practices?

    I for one am not surprised.

    You haven't lived till you've eaten dead pig which was once free-range.

    I'll spell it out for the clueless: Eating Grain Fed pork is slightly beter than eating sawdust, if you want your pig-products to be truly tasty they need to have grown up on a varied diet.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin