BUSINESS
02/02/2017 05:14 am ET

DON'T PANIC! That Bacon Shortage You Keep Hearing About Isn't Real

No, America isn't running out of bacon.

Don’t worry. You’ll still be able to bring home the bacon whenever you want. 

News of a possible bacon shortage went viral across social media on Wednesday, but all the squealing was a little premature.

To imply that there’s going to be some shortage of bacon is wrong,” Steve Meyer, vice president of pork analysis at EMI Analytics, told The New York Times. “There’s plenty of hogs coming. There’s going to be plenty of bacon.”

The news of a supposed shortage began circulating after it was reported that reserves of the frozen pork bellies from which most bacon is made fell to 17.8 million pounds in December, the lowest point for that month since 1957, according to USA Today. 

“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” Rich Deaton, president of the Ohio Pork Council, told Ohio’s Country Journal. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”

But Chris Young, executive director of the American Association of Meat Processors, told Time that it only takes six months to raise a pig for processing so farmers can catch up fast.

We are aware of reserve levels, however, we are not concerned,” Young was quoted as saying. “We don’t see America’s love of bacon going away anytime soon. The industry will not run out and farmers will respond in time to take advantage.”

Indeed, Joyce Kelly, executive director of the Colorado Pork Producers Council, told CBS 4 in Denver that bacon inventories are expected to rise by 5 percent this year.

The dip in the reserves caused pork belly prices to jump 20 percent in early January, so while bacon won’t be in short supply, it could cost a little more.

Thus far, that hasn’t happened. A pound of bacon today is actually 11 percent cheaper than it was a year ago, per USA Today.

And even if the price of bacon rises, it’s not expected to hurt sales much. 

People will pay what it costs to buy bacon because they love it,” Brooks Reynolds, creator of Iowa’s Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, told The Associated Press.

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