Aug. 24th, 2010

petermarcus: (Default)
We might need James Burke to disentangle this, but here's a recent series of Connections, with a startling result.

* A couple years ago, the price of gas goes up to $4/gallon. More ethanol gets produced as a gas additive. Ethanol is made (mostly) from corn. So, the price of corn goes up.
* The economy gets worse, so Americans tighten their belts a bit...by tightening their belts. Much grocery shopping is for staples only like bread and milk and chicken.
* The H1N1 flu hits, and people get worried they'll catch it from pork chops.

The result is high feed costs, and low demand for pork, so farmers back off a bit on the numbers of pigs they breed. Add to this:

* Global warming (or an isolated and coincidental series of summer heat waves, if you don't believe in global warming) causes pigs to sweat a lot and not eat as much, taking longer for them to fatten up.
* An explosion in foodieness over the last year, including a growing trend for pork, especially bacon and pork bellies.

The result:

A tragic and massive bacon shortage. In the last 12 months, pork belly prices are up 211.5%.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/24/news/bacon_prices/index.htm

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