Omnivore - OK, you can stop bracing for porkpocalypse

A U.S. pork shortage seems unlikely, so you can stop hoarding bacon now


So, here's a fun fact: there's a thing in Great Britain called the National Pig Association. They're "the voice of the British pig industry," NOT the voice of British pigs; don't be confused. The pigs are on their own.

Not so fun fact: a few days ago, the National Pig Association said the world will not have a sufficient amount of pork in 2013. Initially, it sounded like the USDA concurred, based largely on the drought in the Midwest this year. The horrifying prognosis, according to CBS News: only 23 billion pounds of pork would be produced in the U.S. in 2013. "That breaks down to Americans consuming slightly more than 45 pounds of pork per capita in 2013, a reduction of more than 1 percent from this year's estimates."

The horror. Of only 45 pounds of pork per capita. Our arteries cheered, our salivary glands wept. Local publications turned to local chefs to find out how they'd withstand the shortage. People seriously began to consider hoarding bacon in case prices spiked.

Alas, the panic might have been premature. An economist assured the Des Moines Register that talk of a shortage was overblown. European pork lovers might be screwed, but we'll be spared ...
The truth, says economist Erin Borror of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, is that production of hogs and pork is expected to fall by as much as 5 percent next year as European Union nations begin to comply with bans on hog gestation crates.

“It’s a dichotomy,” Borror said. “There may be some shortages of pork in Europe, but there will be no shortages in the U.S.”

In fact, U.S. pork production is at near record levels and a European shortage could be good news for U.S. suppliers.

Sorry, pigs.