The reality of so-called bacon shortage

Posted at 5:23 PM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 18:13:21-05

You've probably seen the headlines by now of a bacon shortage. They are alarming, yes but are they true? Not completely.

Inside the Bacon Social House, the focus is on one particular food.

"We've got six different styles of bacon," says Bacon Social House Executive Chef Brian Crow. "We have a peppered bacon, a habanero, a maple glazed bacon, candied bacon, and a barbecue spice bacon. And this is a really good applewood bacon." 

And while they serve plenty of other delicious dishes, bacon makes it way all across the menu.

"It's a bacon inspire pancake blackberry sauce and a little peanut butter whip," says Crow.

But Wednesday we saw alarming headlines suggesting there could be a shortage in their star ingredient.

The Ohio Pork Council and USDA say the country's frozen pork belly inventory is at its lowest point in more than fifty years.

"It was definitely surprising for sure being that that's our name and we hadn't really heard about it," Crow says.

Crow says none of his bacon suppliers from around the country have mentioned the shortage. And we're finding there's likely no cause for alarm.

First, the shortage is for reserves.

And secondly, even though frozen pork belly inventory is down dramatically, 67 percent compared to a year ago, and the price of belly has gone up 50 cents a pound in the last two months, the United States is producing more pork belly than ever before.

"I think we are going to be just fine," Crow says.

Crow says he'll keep an eye on supply. But in the meantime, will keep cooking the food his customers keep coming back for.

The Ohio Pork Council says the decline in pork belly reserves may simply be a result of increased demand.

Still, they say right now pig farmers are producing more pigs than ever.