There’s no easy way to say this, but…we might have a bacon problem. America’s demand for bacon consistently exceeds its supply, according to the Ohio Pork Council.

“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” council president Rich Deaton says, “yet our reserves are still depleting.”

The problem is the frozen pork belly reserve, which is typically what bacon is derived from. In December, the inventory was at 17.8 million pounds. That sounds like a lot, but it’s the lowest it’s been since 1957, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

It doesn’t take a business degree to conclude that when demand outweighs supply, prices surge. Those pork belly prices increased 20% percent in January.

No matter what, thought, bacon won’t leave stores entirely.

“While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured [the] pork industry will not run out of supply,” Deaton says.

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