Hands up if you remember when bacon was among the forbidden foods in this world. It was mostly fat and full of nitrates, and anyone concerned about health just didn’t eat it. What goes around comes around, and bacon is OK again. They even have bacon-flavoured ice cream which is carrying things a little too far.
Have you noticed though what’s happened to the price of bacon at the grocery store? Actually if you weren’t paying close attention you might have missed it. The 500 gram package of side bacon, which has been the standard unit for years, has suddenly shrunk to 375 grams. The only part that hasn’t shrunk is the price. For months we have been warned that pork prices were going to jump dramatically, and we best be prepared to pay more for bacon, sausages and weiners. Maple Leaf Foods has done the same with weiners, just in time for the barbeque and picnic season. A package that used to contain a dozen weiners now has only ten, but the price is the same.
It’s reminiscent of what happened with dairy products when we switched to metric 35 years ago. Overnight the standard unit for milk became the litre, but the price was the same as it had been for a quart of milk the day before.
The price of milk has continued to go in only one direction since then, but pork products should be a different story. The hog industry is one of the worst when it comes to boom – bust cycles. When too many of the animals are produced, the wholesale price drops dramatically and a lot of farmers get out of hogs.
We’re on the up side of the demand curve right now but it will change eventually. When it does, please Mr. McCain give us back that 500 gram package of bacon and “don’t you dare raise the price !”
I’m Roger Currie