Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Bacon Phenomenon

Lately, bacon is everywhere. 

On donuts:
from a Macey's Grocery Store customer

On car air fresheners:

from Archie McPhee
In soups, casseroles, (click the links for yummy recipes) and even in candy:

from Archie McPhee

You can buy bacon clothing:


and even bacon gum: 

from Archie McPhee

It's a whole new bacon-riffic world!
Check out this page of goodies from Think Geek!
And FOUR PAGES of bacon from Archie McPhee!

So my question is this. Did bacon's new rise in popularity coincide with a shortage of pork, or did the sellers of bacon decide to make good on the trend by raising the price of bacon? The burning question is: 


Bacon is now considered "on sale" at $4.99 a package. And a package is only one thin pound. For five bucks. Ouch! 

Once upon a time, when Winco first opened in West Valley, Utah, I went there and bought some really yummy peppered bacon in a bulk-ish container. I think it was like 5 or more pounds, and it cost less than $10. Recently I went looking and it's now around $20!!

Once upon a time even further back, like 8 or 10 years ago, bacon would go on sale for $1.80 or so, and was normally around $2.00-$2.50 a pound for a long while, but now...?

I sound like an old, coupon clipping, penny-counting lady, don't I.

I accept that times change and inflation continues to stab me in the eye and that food prices have doubled in the last 5 years (give or take) and that we just have to adjust, because we can't seem to elect politicians of value and we can't seem to produce food at affordable costs anymore. I accept it. Obviously. I still buy groceries. 

But I only rarely buy bacon anymore.

I found an interesting article that may or may not explain the problem at The Atlantic, which included this handy bacon price comparison chart:

 I don't know the true reason why. I don't know if recent illness among piggies is to blame. I don't know if greed is to blame. I think it's more likely supply and demand at work. Sausage is more expensive than it used to be, but not nearly as much as bacon.

I do know that someone out there can help me, though.

I need you to tell me where you get bacon, how much you pay and if it's worth buying half a pig from a farmer and having it all turned in to bacon. (The back half, I understand...I don't really want to know.

It's soup season and I love the cheesy potato soup linked above, especially, but it's just not as good without a generous sprinkling of bacon on top.

I hope someone out there can help me. Is there a place to get bulk bacon? Is anyone putting it on sale for under $5 a pound anymore?  

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