Press-Republican

Columns

October 7, 2012

Bacon the lifeblood of America

I always thought that oil would be the next precious natural resource to run out — due to overconsumption — and cause a global crisis. Oil, or possibly Naugahyde.

Sadly, I was very wrong. The real dwindling resource soon to affect the planet is far more insidious, far more impactful. Oil can be replaced by wind power, solar power, nuclear power, horse (and buggy) power.

The loss of bacon, however, would cripple society as we know it.

Who wants to eat a lettuce and tomato sandwich?

Last week, Britain’s National Pig Association issued a dire warning for 2013: A global bacon shortage is coming, and it’s unavoidable.

The official reason is that droughts have affected corn crops, which makes feed more expensive for farmers, who in turn have been forced to go with smaller herds. I always believed that pigs ate something called “slop,” made from the portion of school lunches thrown away by students every day, but it turns out they eat corn. Huh.

I fear that the real reason, though, is that Americans in the 21st century demand to have bacon on everything. No longer is it saved for breakfast, special burgers and the occasional quiche. Now it is in candy, ice cream, milkshakes, mayonnaise, popcorn, coleslaw. Virtually any food item can, and is, wrapped in bacon. Those that can’t are shot with bacon flavor — some restaurants will even let you order bacon infused with extra bacon flavor.

Not that I blame my fellow citizens for their weakness; everything, indeed, tastes better with bacon. It is a testament to bacon’s scrumptiousness that its popularity has risen against the vociferous recommendations of all accredited physicians.

Understanding the problem, however, doesn’t make it go away.

Now, before you rush out to the store and begin stocking up on bacon, I’d like you to relax for a moment. Sit down, stop hyperventilating, maybe watch “Babe: Pig in the City,” to remind you of the days when pigs were plentiful and ran free.

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