Speed Reads

you've been warned

America's bacon reserves are at a perilous low

America apparently has a bacon reserve, and it's running low. The Ohio Pork Council revealed in a report released Tuesday that the country's reserve supply of pork belly — the portion of the pig often used to make the breakfast wonder that is bacon — is at its lowest level in 50 years.

As of December 2016, America had a mere 17.8 million pounds of frozen pork belly stockpiled, which, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the smallest inventory the nation has had on hand since 1957. "Today's pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever," said Rich Deaton, president of the nonprofit Ohio Pork Council. "Yet our reserves are depleting."

Americans' appetites aren't entirely to blame for the shortage. Hog farmers export nearly 26 percent of what they make, and officials say there has been an "increased foreign demand," USA Today reported.

But Americans are paying the price, literally: In January, pork belly prices increased a whopping 20 percent. Deaton did have one strip of good news for bacon lovers though: "[R]est assured, [the] pork industry will not run out of supply."