(via Boing Boing) Slate.com reports that the rumored bacon shortage, coming out of the National Pig Association of the United Kingdom, is (at best) an exaggeration. What's actually going to happen is prices for most or all meats are going to go up.
Hence, the “bacon shortage”—actually a global increase in meat prices as a slightly delayed downstream consequence of the increase in corn prices.
Such an increase will, of course, be unpleasant for households used to buying as much cheap bacon as their hearts desire, but there shouldn’t be any actual shortages preciselybecause prices will rise. Shortages arise when price controls lead to a situation in which consumers want to buy more of something than actually exists, which can lead to government rationing. In our economy there will still be plenty of bacon on the shelves, just priced high enough to deter some people from eating as much of it as usual.
So American consumers will be able to adjust to higher prices by shifting to burgers, poultry, and other kinds of pork products—possibly even including the stuff the Brits call “bacon”—rather than breaking into mass panic and bacon riots.
Frankly, I think this is a shame. I also hope that it doesn't affect my earlier points, that global climate change is going to drive off the ability of Western society to keep farming animals on the irresponsibly massive scale we do. It does imply that people will eat less bacon, though.