Say it ain't so! That crispiest of American breakfast staples has hit a new all-time high price. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a pound of sliced bacon cost an average of $6.11 in June, up from $6.05 in May.
Thrillist reports that the price hike is down to a couple of factors. For one thing, a particularly nasty virus has been spreading and killing pigs en masse. And to make matters worse, feed prices have gone through the roof due to ongoing nationwide drought.
The virus has been a huge issue for the pork industry. It's called PEDv, which stands for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus—a pretty terrible way to go, if you ask me. The virus targets piglets and claims a staggering 100 percent mortality rate. It's already killed about 8 million of them, reports The Des Moines Register.
The report adds that the virus does not affect humans or make pork products unsafe to eat. But that hasn't stopped the government from taking the threat seriously. A vaccine is in the works, and $30 million has been set aside to end the epidemic. But even if the virus is defeated, grain prices will probably keep the cost of bacon high for a long time to come.
But if turkey and veggie bacon aren't your thing, there could be another potential alternative: lab-grown meat. Efforts to grow bacon from pig stem cells were made public about four years ago by the In-vitro Meat Consortium, but a consumable finished product has yet to appear.