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article imageBringing home the bacon gets tough for pork lovers

By Mike Rossi     Aug 6, 2014 in Food
The cost of that delicious BLT is going to keep getting higher as the price of pork, and therefore bacon, continues to soar.
Hitting its highest figure in the past three decades, the retail price of bacon has now eclipsed $6.11 a pound, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics— an increase of 10% this year alone.
Though the mounting price hasn't significantly dampened the appetites of bacon aficionados, some have gotten fed-up with elevated costs. One such person, Springfield, Illinois resident Leonerd Hubberd, put his frustration plainly when he said, "I go right by the bacon section. I know it's high. I don't fool with it,"
But it's not just bacon lovers feeling the crunch.
Wholesale pork-belly, a commonly traded product on commodities exchanges and marker for the overall price of pork, hit an all-time high of $2.04 per pound in April according to the US Department of Agriculture.
The USDA also stated the consumer price of pork will increase by 6.5%, matching beef as the food item with the largest inflation margin over a 12-month period— the first time in recent memory such a match has occurred —meaning the cost of everything from pork chops to ham hocks will only go up in 2014,
While high-demand for delicious pork-based products certainly doesn't help keep consumer prices low, the real culprit responsible for the upward trend is microscopic— literally.
PEDV, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, has swept across 30 US states greatly impacting the nation's pig farmers.
The foreign contagion, which infects the pig's small intestine causing severe diarrhea, dehydration and weight-loss, has the power to cull entire herds and is especially deadly for piglets which have a mortality rate close to 100%.
As one hog farmer, Mike Bliler, put it: "It's been...very devastating. [It's] something the hog industry hasn't seen [before]."
Although no definitive end to the disease is in plain-sight, American agricultural professionals are laboring furiously to contain the further spread of PEDV, ideally bringing soaring prices to a plateau.
Until then, consumers seeking a porky-fix will simply have to pay a few extra dollars to get their eggs with that delicious, delicious side of bacon.
More about Bacon, Pork, Food, pork belly, Increasing prices
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