Worldwide Bacon Shortage Predicted

Okay, my friends, we’ve faced major problems before, but this one needs to be addressed immediately:

(CBS News) BLTs next year might have to forego the B, according to a British trade group.

Britain’s National Pig Association, “the voice of the British pig industry,” warned recently that a global shortage of bacon and pork “is now unavoidable” because of shrinking herds.

The trade group reported Thursday that annual pig production for Europe’s main pig producers fell across the board between 2011 and 2012, a trend that “is being mirrored around the world.” The group tied the decline to increased feed costs, an effect of poor harvests for corn and soybeans.

Even though the pig association issued its dire prediction as part of a campaign to get British supermarkets to pay pig farmers more for their products, the possibility of a pork shortage received plenty of coverage in American news outlets.

But the projected decline isn’t news to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In its monthly outlook report (PDF) from August, the department linked a reduction next year in the United States to this year’s drought in the Midwest. The government expects corn and soybean meal prices to go up and hog producers to cut production in an attempt to control losses in their operating costs.

Considering those factors, the USDA forecasted next year’s pork production at 23 billion pounds, a decrease of about 1.3 percent from this year’s estimated total. That breaks down to Americans consuming slightly more than 45 pounds of pork per capita in 2013, a reduction of more than 1 percent from this year’s estimates.

Clearly, it’s time to start stockpiling bacon and other pork-related products. Additionally, I think it’s time do demand that the Commission on Presidential Debates schedule a fourth debate between the Presidential candidates specifically devoted to this topic. After all, this is bacon we’re talking about here.

FILED UNDER: Food, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Paul Hsieh says:

    Alex Knapp’s strategy is to tell all his Facebook and Twitter followers to become vegan.

    I second that strategy

  2. Anderson says:

    Next up: Muslims riot against bacon; Egyptian president says freedom to eat must have limits.

  3. @Paul Hsieh:

    That is a deviously smart strategy. I like it.

  4. Franklin says:

    Finally, we’re all in total agreement!

  5. DC Loser says:

    This story has been challenged.

    [Comment edited due to formatting issues — DM]

  6. If this becomes generally noticeable before the election, Romney wins.

  7. Bleev K says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Nonsense! But Gingrich could have, he’s 100% made out of pig.

  8. anjin-san says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 24 years. I’m 53, feel great & I just passed my physical with flying colors. I don’t like to get preachy about lifestyle issues – just want to say that becoming a vegetarian is one of the best choices I ever made and I urge people to at least consider it.

  9. michael reynolds says:


    I have only one thing to say to you. It is this: bacon.

  10. Ron Beasley says:

    I eat healthy but once a week, Sunday I have bacon and eggs. I will continue to have bacon on Sunday no matter how expensive it gets. I don’t know what it is but bacon is a wonderful taste experience. Even my Jewish friends sneak bacon occasionally.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    Wait! Its a hoax! There is no bacon shortage:

    Hence, the “bacon shortage”—actually a global increase in meat prices as a slightly delayed downstream consequence of the increase in corn prices.
    Such an increase will, of course, be unpleasant for households used to buying as much cheap bacon as their hearts desire, but there shouldn’t be any actual shortages precisely because prices will rise. Shortages arise when price controls lead to a situation in which consumers want to buy more of something than actually exists, which can lead to government rationing. In our economy there will still be plenty of bacon on the shelves, just priced high enough to deter some people from eating as much of it as usual.

  12. ratufa says:

    If you go to the source of the story

    and just read the first paragraph:

    A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable, says Britain’s National Pig Association. But British supermarkets can protect consumers from shortages and steep price rises if they pay Britain’s loss-making pig farmers a fair price, to help them remain in production.

    It’s pretty safe to assume it’s B.S., unless there is confirmation from other sources. Of course, that doesn’t make for a catchy headline.

  13. anjin-san says:

    Well for all the bay area crew here I am buying – Buddhist temple style at Vegi Restaurant in Berkeley the night after election night – hopefully it will be a celebration dinner.

    PS – All dining will be collectivist style…

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:


    just want to say that becoming a vegetarian is one of the best choices I ever made and I urge people to at least consider it.

    Every vegetarian I know all have one thing they miss above and beyond all else.For one buddy of mine, it is braunschweiger. Bacon is a common one and ham too.

    You got one?

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Also… Sharia!

  16. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if millions of Homer Simpsons cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  17. J-Dub says:

    It’s being dubbed the “aporkalypse”

  18. JKB says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Bacon is the gateway meat. Vegetarians just try a bit and before you know it, they are attending pig roasts and hanging out at steak houses with a carnivorous crowd.

  19. JKB says:

    Bacon, carnitas and pork bbq are what stands between America and Sharia. Free speech is one thing but take our bacon, there can be no peace.

  20. JKB says:


    There was a place in Honolulu, Buddhist Vegetarian Restaurant, if vegetarian food tasted as good as theirs, I could be vegetarian. But it doesn’t so I shall keep my omnivore habits.

  21. @michael reynolds:

    In our economy there will still be plenty of bacon on the shelves, just priced high enough to deter some people from eating as much of it as usual.

    How is that distinct from a shortage? Usually when we say “there’s a shortage of X”, we don’t mean that there’s actually none of it, just that the supply has shrunk to the point where it can’t be found except for a price that most people are willing to pay.

    If bacon goes up to $30/pound, that will be a shortage.