09/28/2012 03:56 pm ET

Table Talk: The Predicted Bacon Shortage

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

If you haven’t heard the news yet, we’re sorry to break it to you: a bacon-pocalypse may be in our future.

This summer’s severe droughts cut into international grain crops; smaller grain output means pricier food for pigs, which has led many farmers to cut down the size of their herds. Fewer pigs naturally means less -- and more expensive -- bacon, a press release from Britain’s National Pig Association says.

Bacon may not be the healthiest food (it’s high in both saturated fats and sodium), but there’s no denying that the brunch menu staple is popular (for proof, check out these YouTube odes to the pork product). Major League Eating even hosts several yearly bacon-eating contests -- but in light of the predicted shortage, they’ve all been suspended.

To address the immediate problem, the National Pig Association is asking British supermarkets to pay more for pork so that prices don’t rise for everyone. Meanwhile, some journalists say these shortage predictions are a big ol' exaggeration.

Whether or not a world of breakfast-lovers runs out of bacon, it’s safe to say that farmers everywhere are praying for more rain next year.

Questions for Discussion:
  • How would a bacon shortage impact your life?
  • How can changes in the environment affect other foods we eat?
  • What’s the ONE food you’d have the hardest time giving up?

In her cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.