The nation’s pork reserves have reached a 50-year low, due in part to high demand for bacon, and the shortage is driving up prices, the Ohio Pork Council warned Tuesday.
“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” Rich Deaton, president of the Ohio Pork Council, told USA Today. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”
The inventory for frozen pork belly, the base meat cut for bacon products, reached its lowest levels since 1957, according to Department of Agriculture data. The drop caused the price to rise 20 percent in January, the council said.
Though the price of bacon will rise until pork producers catch up to the demand, there will still be bacon at the supermarket.
“While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured pork industry will not run out of supply,” Deaton said.
Processed meats such as bacon, ham and sausages were labeled as causes of cancer and red meat was also deemed hazardous to health. The findings resulted from a meeting of scientists from 10 countries.
WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that a host of processed meats should be placed in the highest of five possible rankings as “carcinogenic to humans.”
The ranking put burgers and bacon alongside asbestos, arsenic, cigarettes and alcohol. The justification behind the decision was that when meat is being preserved through processes, like smoking, carcinogens can be added. Red meat on the other hand has been linked to bowel cancer, according to the U.K’s Department of Health.