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On the list of problems facing the United States, a bacon shortage wasn’t supposed to be one of them. Josh King has the story (@abridgetoland). Buzz60

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The country's bacon reserves are at the lowest levels in half a century.

In other words, pig farmers can't keep up with the world's sizzling appetite for those fatty, smoky strips of sheer eating pleasure.

The Ohio Pork Council, a Columbus-based non-profit, reported Tuesday that demand for frozen pork belly, frequently made into bacon, is outpacing supply.

“Today’s pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever,” said Rich Deaton, president of the organization. “Yet our reserves are still depleting.”

There are literally not enough little piggies going to market.

In December 2016, frozen pork belly inventory totaled 17.8 million pounds, the lowest level since 1957, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As a result, prices are on the rise. The council reports pork belly prices have increased 20 percent in January. Officials said increased foreign demand might account for the decline in inventory. Hog farmers export approximately 26 percent of total productions, the council said.

“While bacon may become more expensive for consumers, rest assured pork industry will not run out of supply,” said Deaton.

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