The One Chart That Will Alarm Bacon Lovers

The stuff is getting more expensive.

Natural Wood Smoked Thick Cut Bacon is seen for sale at the Eastern Market February 25, 2014, in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Elahe Izadi
March 11, 2014, 1 a.m.

Take a look at the av­er­age price for ba­con, via the Labor De­part­ment: The av­er­age price of ba­con. (Bur­eau of Labor Stat­ist­ics)

It’s rising! That’s not sur­pris­ing giv­en people in­sist on put­ting ba­con in everything, from cup­cakes to cock­tails to milk­shakes. And the rising price of ba­con — on av­er­age $5.56 a pound in Janu­ary — could rise even more this year.

Why? Well, the price of grain and feed has a lot to do with it, but some are con­cerned about pig diarrhea. A vir­us called por­cine epi­dem­ic diarrhea, which af­fects pig­lets, con­tin­ues to spread. So the Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment de­creased its pork-pro­duc­tion es­tim­ate by 1.4 per­cent. This is des­pite pre­dic­tions in 2013 that the price of ba­con would fall, giv­en in part to pre­dicted in­creases in pork pro­duc­tion.

Some ana­lysts say the vir­us won’t af­fect ba­con prices in the mar­ket­place for months, as it hasn’t even really im­pacted pork yet.

But things aren’t look­ing rosy. Since April of last year, the vir­us has spread to 23 states and Canada, with a surge of cases re­por­ted in Janu­ary.

Per­haps it’s time to re­think the “everything is bet­ter with ba­con” at­ti­tude and con­sider a more ba­con-tra­di­tion­al­ist out­look: ba­con only on plates next to eggs, and on the oc­ca­sion­al tur­key sand­wich. Or, you know, you could take a cue from Ron Swan­son, and just hoard the stuff:

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