This post is by Bernie Carr,
Lately I have been noticing higher prices on bacon and other pork products at the grocery. I wondered whether the price increase was limited to my neighborhood store so looked at other stores. It turns out that pork prices are actually rising nationwide.
According to CNBC, pork prices are rising this year, and we could be paying higher prices well into 2020.
Why are pork prices increasing?
China is a large consumer of pork products and there has been a spread of African swine fever among China’s pork industry. This could increase China’s demand for pork imports from the U.S. When demand is high, and suppliers are unable to keep up with the demand, prices go up.
What is African swine fever?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) African swine fever is a disease that affects pigs– both domesticated and feral. There is no danger of the ASF getting transmitted from pigs to people. It does not affect people or other livestock. The USDA restricts imports of pork and pork products from affected countries. They have also instituted testing for this disease in the event it is detected in the U.S.
According to an article in Bloomberg, there may even be shortages of pork products. Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, warns that even though the pork crisis in China has not impacted the U.S., supplies may become tight next year as demand from China increases. Suppliers may not be able to keep up with the increased demand.
How do you prepare for this?
I always look at how developments affect me personally. If you like bacon, ham and pork products, it wouldn’t hurt to stock up.
- Buy extra and freeze for later.
- If you’ve taken up canning, this article shows how.
- You can also buy canned bacon if you are storing for long term, before prices increase.
- If you have a Food Saver or other sealer, buy in bulk and store.
- Make a large bulk purchase and split it with a friend to share the bulk discount.
- Take advantage of ham and pork sales during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
- If prices get too high for your budget, consider cheaper alternatives to pork products.
Hopefully the African swine fever epidemic will soon be controlled and prices will return to normal levels. But if prices do increase, you’ll be glad you prepared.
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