Commodity market prediction takes the Internet by storm

Good news! There is not an unavoidable bacon shortage looming in our future. Bad news! What was actually being predicted was really an increase in meat prices across the board. Droughts have completely decimated this year's corn crop, and as corn is the stuff we usually feed our meat, it's going to cost more to raise a pig (or a cow, or a chicken) next year. Key takeaways: There will still be meat, it's just going to be more spendy next year, and also don't trust the British when they offer you "bacon" because they actually mean Canadian bacon, which is different (and inferior).


  1. Canadians don’t use the term Canadian bacon.  And, you would think that this would be because what is considered Canadian bacon elsewhere is what we refer to as just bacon.  Not so.  Bacon = strips of bacon.  Back bacon or peameal bacon is what is apparently referred to as Canadian bacon.  

      1. I’ve never heard the term “American cheese”. edit: just looked it up… we just call that processed cheese. “Back Cheese” seems rather appropriate though since that stuff usually just stays at the back of my fridge.

      2. It’s not cheese. It’s “cheese like processed dairyish product” and tastes as good as it sounds.
        America’s idea of bacon is little better. It is strips of pork fat with faint hints of meaty stuff occasionally interspersed, served so over cooked that you can barely tell it from grilled cardboard. The bacon normally served in Britain comes in two forms
        A) streaky bacon which looks faintly like American bacon-like product but has some actual pork content.
        B) middle-back bacon which looks like very thinly sliced pork hop and thus has a substantial chunk of pork included, thus making it taste of pork rather than burnt fat infused cardboard.
        Conversely, sausages in Britain consist of 125% horrible stuff with negligible pork connection, so you win some you lose some.

  2. I don’t think anyone outside of the US refers to “Back Bacon” / “Peameal Bacon” as being “Canadian Bacon”

    In Canada we refer to sliced pork bellies by the generic term “bacon”. 

    Interestingly, modern peameal bacon is made with cornmeal but still called peameal bacon.  

    1. Sort of. In the US we usually refer to back bacon as Irish Bacon, or whichever British Isles nation has the largest ethnic community in a given area. What we call Canadian Bacon is lame ass little disks of processed ham, a product that exists nowhere else in the world. 

      So Maggie is a bit wrong. “Canadian Bacon” is actually inferior bullshit. But proper back bacon is a thing of beauty. 

      “Canadian Bacon”:

      Back Bacon:

      See the difference.

      1. That looks like ham. Do you need to cook “Canadian bacon?”
        The US is big, so not everyone says the same thing. From what my few ‘merican acquaintances have told me though, Canadian bacon is back bacon, but I haven’t been to all of the places in USA.

        1. Most American’s not near the boarder know you guys have back bacon, so they assume “Canadian bacon” is back bacon. Never having had actual back bacon they assume all back bacon is a small disk of processed ham. Like Maggie seems to be doing. 

  3. Slate also have their Britishisms slightly incorrect.
    On this side of the pond, Bacon is a general term that can describe at least four different cuts of cured pig.
    Back bacon- which Slate thinks is the only kind available here, the sort that gets described as “Canadian Bacon” by usaians.
    Streaky bacon- the thin slices of pork belly bacon that are favoured in the states.
    Middle bacon- a lesser-known cut that’s like larger slices of back bacon, and tastes more like streaky. Has a devoted following who prefer it to anything else.
    Bacon bits/ Lardons(if you’re posh) Cubes of bacon to be thrown into recipes whenever the recipe or the chef calls for it.

    And that’s before we get into all the various preferences for wet or dry curing, to smoke it or not, if so exactly how to do so, and so on.

    I’m glad I’ve already eaten, otherwise all this research would be making me somewhat peckish.

    1. From my days in France/Belgium I know that lardons are a wonderful things. It’s like a little bundle of bacon bits to cook into anything.

  4. If you think that the Muslims got upset about insulting internet commentary wait until what happens when this crack about *inferior* Canadian Bacon gets out!

  5. As an Ukian, I had no clue there was this transatlantic bacon sectarianism.  I thought streaky bacon was just a less desirable cut (like how chicken wings are cheap), given it’s usually cheaper and has more fat/non-edible parts for the weight.  Now I learn that apparently the entire USA doesn’t like what I think of as ‘good bacon’.   So what’s the big deal about streaky bacon? What makes it better?

    1. We must be still confused on terminology, because the bacon we eat here in the US (which is in strips, and has meat and fat stripes) is 100% edible. You eat the whole strip. And it’s amazing. 

      Canadian bacon (which comes in circular slices and is rather more like ham and is put on “healthy” breakfast sandwiches) is far less salty and delicious. 

      1. It seems there is some additional confusion: Judging by the descriptions I’m getting:

        “Canadian bacon” in the US, while made from the same cut of meat as “back bacon” in Canada and, apparently, “bacon” in the UK, is processed in a way that produces an inferior and less delicious end product.

        Meanwhile, here in Canada, “back bacon” typically saltier, smokier, and more delicious than “bacon” (aka side bacon).

        By the sounds of it, that may be more or less the situation with UK “bacon” as well.

  6. US Bacon looks nice and tastes good but it shrivels up to nothing when you cook it. The cheaper “British” back bacon usually comes from Denmark and is pumped full of salty water that falls out into a puddle when you cook it. IMHO there is no better bacon than genuine British dry cure streaky bacon. 

    1. Canadian back bacon (as distinct from US “Canadian bacon”) is also a very fine thing indeed.

      You do need to get it from a place that cares to do it right – as with anything, the cheap crappy version is cheap and crappy…

  7. We may have to start eating Soylent Bacon to make up for the pig shortage. I have it on good authority that the ‘long pig’ used to make it is as tasty as the regular, and at least in the USA, even fattier.

    1.  It might well be Danish though.

      You could probably approximate American “bacon” by blowtorching rashers of streaky bacon, but why would you?

      The really trick thing with proper bacon is getting the bacon rinds to come out just right, puffed up and crispy. Sadly, supermarkets dodge the issue by removing the rinds before packaging the bacon.

  8. But don’t try to make bacon and banana pizza with strip bacon; it is delicious made with the bacon they used in Cape Town (at least for once slice).

  9. It’s ironic because in America today most people are not farmers and therefore most Americans treat rising food prices as a bad thing.  There was a time when most Americans were farmers and the thing they feared most was a drop in food prices.  Imagine a whole field of corn that is left to rot because it costs more to harvest than it’s worth at market.

    One man’s increase in food prices is another man’s increase in demand for produce.   With increased demand for produce comes an increase in the demand for arable land.  This is interesting to me personally as I live in an area with excellent soil, and a lot of that soil gets paved over because the demand for strip malls and subdivisions is greater than the demand for farms.  But if food prices keep rising, and development doesn’t take off for a few more years, farming might start to become a bit more profitable.

      1. It’s true, I’m fortunate to live in an area of good soil with good rainfall.  Other parts of the country don’t have the same issues with development.  Where I live there is a high demand for any land that is flat for development.  Of course the nice flat land is often flat because it’s an alluvial deposit.

        Also the demand for vegetables in my area is probably higher than other parts of the country.

  10. As a Canadian, I consider the term “canadian bacon” to be denegreting, both to Canadians and to real bacon everywhere.

  11. We currently pay an all-time low for food in this country, less than 10% of average household income is spent on food. More like 6%, compared to over 40% for many countries. That’s pretty amazing.

    About half of the corn grown in the U.S. goes to the feedlot cattle after being pumped full of antibiotics, and the other half goes to New Jersey to be turned into HFCS. I’m assuming the price of everything that contains HFCS will go up, too?

    Or maybe not, because I am under the impression that we overproduce corn by an order of magnitude. The government subsidizes the crop heavily- if it didn’t, it would be unprofitable for all but the largest operations to produce. The Archer Daniels Midland-scale growers still collect on subsidies, though.

    I think this will be a small blip in prices for the cheapest of beef grades. I’m not sure if  organic, grass fed beef will go up in price. And generally that’s the meat that’s fit to eat, anyway.

    1. I’m rather sure HFCS is non-perishable and is held in large stocks, like large enough to weather out this price hike. Of course though it’ll probably get an artificial price inflation from wall street gambling, er I mean bidding

      1. I actually think the corn used to make the HFCS is pretty safely stockpiled as well. Feed-grade corn is pretty shelf stable as long as kept dry…

  12. could we, as Canadians, just publicly declare ourselves are active non-supporters of all future American invasions, thus blacklisting us to the point that the processed ham we have been maligned with will forever be known as “freedom bacon”?  Win-win for us Canucks if the Tea Party gets in this election…

  13. “Droughts have completely decimated this year’s corn crop,”

    One would think that a drop by 10% wouldn’t have too much of an impact. 
    The mental image of every tenth stalk of corn being pummeled to pulp by the rest of the corn is fairly  amusing..

  14. This looks like an emergent “Bacongate” scandal – insulting each other’s national bacon varieties. This will probably escalate into a war. (I’m just surprised we havne’t touched on the smoked/unsmoked question yet.)

  15. As a Canadian in the UK, this looks simple to me. Canadians and Brits eat both back bacon and strip bacon. Canadian back bacon sometimes has pea meal on the edges, which I am told is actually corn meal. I have never heard of or eaten this thing you are calling Canadian bacon that is diced ham. And if you don’t like back bacon, you just aren’t putting enough maple syrup on it.

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