California Set To Have A Major Self-Imposed Bacon Shortage And Could Things Get Any Worse In The Golden State?
· Aug 3, 2021 ·

Why do you do this to yourself Californians? Why do you vote on such stupid things only to end up hurting yourselves?

The AP published an article detailing why the state of California is bracing for a bacon shortage as a statewide proposition on animal welfare that passed overwhelmingly in 2018 will be enforced at the beginning of next year.

The enforcement of this rule would make it illegal for Californians to purchase pork from producers who don't meet the minimum space requirements they voted into place in 2018, ruling out all but 4% of pork producers in the United States.

According to the AP report:

Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market.

The major problem here? Animal rights groups pushed through a proposition in California on what meat they could sell, however, most of the pork sold in California does not come from California farms.

So the state of California is asking farmers in places like Iowa to conform to their rules or else they will stop purchasing pork from them.

Also from AP:

With little time left to build new facilities, inseminate sows and process the offspring by January, it's hard to see how the pork industry can adequately supply California, which consumes roughly 15% of all pork produced in the country.

"We are very concerned about the potential supply impacts and therefore cost increases," said Matt Sutton, the public policy director for the California Restaurant Association.

California's restaurants and groceries use about 255 million pounds of pork a month, but its farms produce only 45 million pounds, according to Rabobank, a global food and agriculture financial services company.

California doesn't produce nearly enough pork to feed itself, and farmers outside of California especially can't afford to expand and retrofit their farms to comply with the rule.

If farms choose to keep doing business with California and change their way of farming, the costs will be absorbed by all of us red-blooded bacon-eating patriots.

In Iowa, which raises about one-third of the nation's hogs, farmer Dwight Mogler estimates the changes would cost him $3 million and allow room for 250 pigs in a space that now holds 300.

To afford the expense, Mogler said, he'd need to earn an extra $20 per pig and so far, processors are offering far less.

"The question to us is, if we do these changes, what is the next change going to be in the rules two years, three years, five years ahead?" Mogler asked.

The California rules also create a challenge for slaughterhouses, which now may send different cuts of a single hog to locations around the nation and to other countries. Processors will need to design new systems to track California-compliant hogs and separate those premium cuts from standard pork that can serve the rest of the country.

At least initially, analysts predict that even as California pork prices soar, customers elsewhere in the country will see little difference. Eventually, California's new rules could become a national standard because processors can't afford to ignore the market in such a large state.


It may take a while, but it looks like California will eventually hurt everyone when it comes to bacon.

But, for the time being, it's only California that has to deal with the increased prices and shortage of pork products.

If you were considering leaving California, I'd say this might be the last straw.

I'd be packing up and leaving just like this little fella did in the most iconic pro-bacon stand ever taken in the history of the world:

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