If you are in the search of “Why Is Bacon So Expensive?”, then this article is for you. If you are someone who does not follow a strict vegan or vegetarian diet, then bacon and eggs might be a staple breakfast for you. Not just for breakfast, bacon can be consumed in several ways- as a side dish, to enhance flavors, and as an addition to salads as well.
In western countries like America and Canada, bacon is an essential part of the people’s diet and is available in plenty in retail store chains like Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods Market among others. It is available in different textures and some are even pre-sliced and pre-cooked. Keeping in mind the recent inflation in America- and the rest of the world- bacon prices, along with the prices of gas, water, fish, and other essentials have gone up. Read on to know why is Bacon so expensive.
Bacon- Definition and a Brief History
In the United Nations of America, bacon is defined as “the cured belly of a swine carcass.” It is mandatory that bacon made from other parts of the pig be clearly defined as such- back bacon, pork shoulder bacon, etc. In the present times, bacon might be the country’s favorite meat to consume, but historically speaking, it has not always been the case. Since pig’s meat offered the cheapest source of meat in the yesteryears, it was looked down upon as “peasant food”. The rich only consumed it seasonally, as a side dish with salads. Bacon, as mentioned above, is consumed differently depending on where you are- pork belly in America, loin and back in Canada, and loin with the belly fat in England.
For more historical facts and details surrounding bacon, head over to https://familytreemagazine.com/history/bonkers-for-bacon-history/.
Why is American Bacon So Different From That Available in Other Countries?
The word ‘bacon’ is derived from a word that meant the back of the pig. Usually, the Canadian bacon- made from the back- is called back bacon in America, and the American belly bacon is called “streaky bacon” in the United Kingdoms. Americans like their bacon hard and crisp, whereas most other countries eat their bacon soft, almost like slices of ham.
There are often debates or rather, confusion regarding the differences and similarities between ham and bacon. Ham is made from a different meat cut- usually, the legs of the pig and is cured differently as well. It is pre-cooked unlike most packs of bacon.
For more interactive understanding, you might want to visit https://www.quora.com/Why-is-bacon-in-America-different-than-bacon-everywhere-else-which-is-essentially-ham.
Bacon Buying Guide
You might want to do your research on the different types of cuts that bacon comes in before you go shopping so you know exactly what you are looking for. Broadly classified, you can buy bacon in Standard, Thick-cut, Centre-cut, and slabs according to what dish you are going to be putting the bacon in. For example, thick-cut bacon strips can be used to make pasta, or if your needs vary, you can just buy a slab and chop it up yourself later!
Which Cure Should You Choose For Your Bacon?
- Wet-cured: It is the most common type of curing, at least for meat produced for commercial purposes. This type of curing involves soaking the bacon in saltwater with sodium nitrite. Some manufacturers inject the mixture into the meat instead of soaking it, and that is called pumped bacon.
- Dry-cured: As the name suggests, no soaking or brining process is involved here. You simply rub salt, sugar, spices, and sodium nitrite onto the meat to cure it.
- Uncured: This means that the bacon has been cured using only naturally occurring nitrates. You would not find bacon that has been completely “uncured” in the market, as that is unhealthy and unsafe.
For more details, please head over to https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/the-bacon-buying-guide.
Some Dishes That You Can Make With Your Bacon
- Bacon-wrapped fries
- Bacon and eggs
- Bacon lettuce wraps
- Bacon stuffed potatoes
- Bacon beer cheese
There are tons of other wraps, dips, and crackers that you can make with bacon. These days, you can even find bacon-flavored drinks and candy!
Why is Bacon So Expensive?
The current bacon prices are the highest they have ever been in the last four decades. While several factors have led to this incredible increment in the prices of bacon, some of the major ones are as follows:
The COVID-19 Pandemic
Since people were obliged by law to stay inside, trips to restaurants went down to nil and that obviously led to less demand for food products including meat. Big companies that supply bacon had to slaughter their excessive drift of pigs prematurely, which laid the path for a meat supply shortage in the markets. As the situation improved, the demand for bacon rose back up again but the supply was still low. Following the laws of economics, allowed the price-makers to put a higher price on bacon.
Swine FLU Scare
You might remember reading in the news that the swine flu was spreading among pigs recently. It is a disease that affects them and eventually kills them, and humans are prone to it as well. The infected pigs had to be killed, which directly led to a shortage of meat and therefore the low supply of bacon in the market. The demand was still high as ever, and hence the price increased.
A More Protein-Conscious World
As the craze for fitness increases in the wake of the pandemic, and the Keto diet becomes more popular, food items having a large amount of protein have been in high demand. Since the supply cannot meet the demand rates, the price keeps increasing.
Other factors include the high costs of maintaining pig farms, different qualities of pigs, varying bacon types, etc., the bottom line is that the bacon market supply is low, and the demand high.
For even more detailed explanations, please visit https://www.thecoldwire.com/why-is-bacon-so-expensive/#:~:text=Whatever%20the%20reason%20behind%20it,protein%20on%20a%20regular%20basis.
Bacon is a rich and delicious source of protein that can be consumed in countless ways. It is therefore a staple in most American households, and several factors listed above have led to a shortage in the supply of bacon in the market which in turn has led to an increment in their prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does bacon cost in the US?
A pound of sliced bacon costs you around USD 7.22.
2. What is the new bacon law in California?
It states that all pig farms must meet a standard minimum requirement to house their pigs, under animal welfare concerns.