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Bacon prices are insane, but we're still buying record amounts of it

Posted by Doug Saffir  March 11, 2014 04:27 PM

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If there's one thing Americans can't live without, it's bacon. Come hell or high water, we buy the stuff by the truck load so we can put it on everything from burgers and sandwiches to cupcakes and ice cream.

Americans love bacon so much that most of us probably haven't noticed the fact that bacon prices have skyrocketed in the last 10 years. According to a report released today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of bacon in January 2014 was $5.56 per pound! That's up from $3.15 per pound in 2004 and $3.63 per pound just four years ago in 2010. Nowadays, you might be better off getting a round of steaks for dinner than including bacon in your meal.

bacongraph.jpg

Of course, prices rising at three times the rate of inflation hasn't deterred Americans from indulging in their favorite cured meat. Bacon sales climbed 9.5 percent in 2013, bringing in an all-time record $4 billion in sales, according to Market Watch.

In addition to scrounging precious dollars for precious bacon during the economic downturn, Americans have also decided to ignore the main contributor to the rise in prices: a disgusting fecal virus called porcine epidemic diarrhea.

The National Journal said that experts are concerned porcine epidemic diarrhea will impact piglets, and the Agriculture Department has responded to the virus's spread by decreasing its pork-production estimate by 1.4 percent.

These trends seem to indicate that the salty goodness of bacon will only become increasingly costly and increasingly disgusting and diarrhea-y.

That's bad news for America since the only options are to ignore those facts and eat bacon anyway or - gasp - stop eating bacon. In this dilemma, there are no good options.

Reach me at douglas.saffir@globe.com. Follow me @dougsaffir

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