Passion for Pork

Baconocalypse: Pork Shortage Reality or Ridiculous?

Vancouver - Monday, October 1, 2012

There’s been some mention of a pork and bacon shortage in the media lately after the National Pig Association (a real thing) in Britain released a press release of warning.  Of course, I read this last week, immediately panicked and drove my car like a rocket to the nearest supermarket, expecting to have to punch an hysterical mob in the face if I was going to get an emergency bacon supply.  Instead, I found only regular weekday shoppers wondering why that crazy man burst through the doors screaming “SAVE SOME BACON FOR ME!” so I wondered how much truth there was to the claims that pork chops were going to require a second mortgage to afford or bacon was going to become a rare commodity like Kevin Costner’s jar of dirt in Waterworld.

What’s causing this alleged worldwide pork shortage?  The NPA cites droughts all over the world which has crippled corn and soy production, which has in turn driven up the cost of raising pigs.  Most cuts of pork are relatively inexpensive but current conditions might increase prices by as much as 10%.

But shortage really isn’t the right word for what’s happening.  Yes, there will be less pork in the world and prices will be higher but “shortage” doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find any on store shelves.  Cars aren’t lining up outside supermarkets like they did outside gas stations in the ’70s.  We aren’t running out anytime soon.  We’re talking about pigs…not dodo birds.

Thankfully, cooler heads have prevailed after the NPA sent the web into a panic and economists have been telling us that while we may have to pay $7.99 instead of $6.99 for that pack of bacon for awhile, our cries of we don’t want to live on this planet anymore without bacon were premature.  I’d blame the NPA or the tabloid-y British media for blowing this all out of proportion but the fact that the very thought of running out of bacon created worldwide hysteria (or at least on the internet) just shows how deep our love for it runs.

So the next time someone tells you the world is running out of pork, do not panic, run every red light on the way to the store and/or shove away small children in the way of your bacon.  Stay calm.  Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine.


Speaking of ridiculous, if you just can’t get enough of pork, check out McDull: The Pork of Music this weekend at the Vancouver International Film Festival.  The movie is in Cantonese with English subtitles.

McDull is a Chinese animated cartoon pig and cultural icon, singing silly songs about food and life in Hong Kong.  His most famous song features McDull telling you what his name is (like Snoop Dogg does in every single song), letting you know how much he enjoys McNuggets and contemplating how a chicken turns into a duck (no, really).  I assure you this all makes sense…or at least as much sense as an interspecies dance-off I see in the trailer.  My personal favorite is a short skit where McDull and his mom go to a restaurant and try to order, only to be met by the most inept restaurant manager in the world.  My dad laughs like an idiot every time he hears this one.

Rough translation:

McDull: I’ll take a breakfast meal, please.

Mom: Breakfast?  What’s in the breakfast?

Manager:  Breakfast?  Oh, it’s the same as the daily special.

Mom: What’s in the daily special?

Manager: Oh, it’s roughly the same as the fast food special.

Mom: Well, what’s in that?

Manager: It’s the same as the lunch special.

Mom: Well, what are we eating in the lunch special?

Manager: Well, it’s basically a dinner special.

Mom: Then what’s in the dinner special?

Manager: Same thing as breakfast.

Mom: …okay, we’ll take two breakfasts then.

Manager: Great. Our breakfast is very good. <runs off and comes back> Very sorry but our breakfast is all sold out.

McDull: Oh well, we’ll get the fast food special then.

Mom: Fast food special? What’s in that?

Manager: The same thing as our lunch special.

Mom: Alright, we’ll take two fast food specials then.

Manager: Good choice. <runs off and comes back> Very sorry but our fast food special is all sold out.

(…and this repeats til he says each one, they order and he comes back saying they’re sold out)

Manager: Why don’t you try our dinner special?

Mom: It’s so early in the morning why the heck would we order dinner!?

Manager: It’s just called dinner but it’s the same as our breakfast.

Mom: Alright, I give up!  Just bring us two dinner specials and make it fast!

Manager: Fast?  If you want fast, then you should get the fast food special…

Mom and McDull: <head desk>.

LINK: Official McDull movie website.