It appears extremely likely that the price of both bacon and pork chops is about to rise by 25 percent. In related news, THE END IS FUCKING NIGH.
OK. OK, breathe. Let's just all take a step back and look dispassionately at the fact that, thanks to a new virus hitting hog farms in the Midwest, scarcity is expected to drive the price of bacon (and pork chops, but let's be serious — we both only care about the bacon) up by a full 1/4. It's important that we not do anything rash, like immediately leaving a post on our Public Health/Infectious Disease grad student girlfriend's wall demanding she cure this virus IMMEDIATELY or we are breaking up with her. Not that I know anyone who has done that.
The problem is a virus called PEDV (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, and that is EXACTLY as horrifying as it sounds) killing as many as 1 in 10 piglets as it sweeps its icy, savory meat-hating scythe through Iowa, Nebraska and other states. They're not sure where it came from at present; the current suspect is feed from Asia, but whenever there's any food-related health scare, the answer is immediately "blame Asia," so the jury's still out on that one. The theory also runs that the virus has difficulty surviving in hotter temperatures, so summer might provide some relief. I certainly hope so, because Pittsburgh has no shortage of bridges for me to jump off of if it doesn't.
Alright, it's not that dire. After all, the article also notes that it might take a while for this price change to really hit the market, so I've got plenty of time to hoard ALL THE BACON. Look for me at your local supermarket; I'll be the guy in the Road Warrior costume fending off anyone else making a play for bacon with a chainsaw attached to a stop sign.
Image via Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.