petermarcus: (Default)
[personal profile] petermarcus
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

Date: 2010-08-24 07:50 pm (UTC)
ext_113261: (Default)
From: [identity profile] evilegg.livejournal.com
Did people really quit eating pork?
I don't even know anybody who has quit eating eggs or bothered to check their cartons.

Date: 2010-08-24 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] petermarcus.livejournal.com
I checked my cartons, but still eating eggs. And in fact, I made mayo yesterday and bearnaise a couple days ago, both with raw egg yolk. I am thinking it's about time to buy my eggs local, though.

I don't know about the pork. I sure didn't stop. The CNN article says that demand went down, but I don't know how much was due to swine flu fears and how much was due to economics. Chicken and hamburger are just a lot cheaper, and a lot of processed foods like mac n cheese are even cheaper than that.

Date: 2010-08-24 08:23 pm (UTC)
ext_113261: (Default)
From: [identity profile] evilegg.livejournal.com
I love burgers. I'm glad they are cheap.
Now I want horseradish burgers tonight.
Time to text Dutch!

He made a shepherd pie the other night that was fabulous, BTW.
Heavy on the garlic and onions. It wasn't pretty but it was delicious and even better the second day.

Date: 2010-08-25 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] petermarcus.livejournal.com
We ate a lot of burgers this summer with 4 kids out of school. Not that it was economic, but man, burgers on the grill. I went through a tank of propane from Memorial Day until this last weekend.

Date: 2010-08-25 01:07 am (UTC)
ext_113261: (Default)
From: [identity profile] evilegg.livejournal.com
There's just endless ways to dress them up.
Feta and bacon! Mushrooms and garlic mayo! Avocado and tomato!

Date: 2010-08-24 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] petermarcus.livejournal.com
Oh, and it has been pointed out to me that pigs do not actually sweat (or if they do, it's not much). "Sweating like a pig" refers to iron smelting, when "pig iron" cools off enough to start condensation and is thus safe to handle.

Learn something new every day.

Date: 2010-08-25 07:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gravity.livejournal.com
So much for joining the bacon of the month club.

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