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Nationwide bacon shortage fueled by speculation about California’s new regulation

Is there a bacon shortage? Could there be one in the coming months or by 2022? For years, stories about shortages in bacon – or more accurately pork – have made their way around the internet. This summer it began again with concerns about a bacon shortage reported across the U.S.

Initially, the stories were linked to production issues connected to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as production has ramps back up – clearing backlogs and dealing with increased demand has made it difficult for pork producers to get ahead.

Increased production demand and stress means greater cost, which could lead to increased prices or shortages of product.

There is growing concern over a regulatory change in California that could impact pork prices and prompt a bacon shortage. The change is intended to crack down on CAFO’s or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Factory farms account for a majority of the 130 million pigs slaughtered each year for U.S. food production.

IN-DEPTH: What does the law mean for farms? (New Republic)

Will there be a shortage? The economy will largely sort that out over the next six months. Restaurant owners have voiced concerns that could make pork and bacon difficult to obtain or simply more costly. Advocates say the cost-benefit analysis’ in moral decisions about how Americans do business needs to change.

Carnival Cruise Line said it’s dealing with its own bacon shortage on ships. However, this shortage is different than the one raising concerns ahead of California’s implementation of new animal welfare regulations.


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