What To Do When the Bacon Shortage Hits: 9 Tasty Suggestions

Be prepared to say goodbye!

A rather hysterical report issued early last week on the part of a European agricultural agency suggested that pig populations were declining in Europe and the U.S. due to shortages of corn and soybeans -- important feed for porkers -- as a result of prolonged drought. As you might expect, some people went crazy, fantasizing that there would be bacon shortages, resulting in hasty cancellations of bacon events for the coming year, etc.

Well, the whole thing turned out to be something of a hoax, or at least a case of mass hysteria driven by rampant bacon lust. As NBC reasoned, according to the blog Hot Air, the result was much more likely to be a rise in bacon prices, which would cause more of the hog supply to be diverted into the smoky meat strips with which many are obsessed. Besides, the conclusion was extrapolated from European data and not backed up by further research.

But it got us to thinking at Fork in the Road and galvanized us into adopting a fail-safe strategy if ever bacon does become unavailable. Following are nine products that might be substituted, in reverse order of satisfactoriness.

9. Bacon-Flavored Rawhide Rolls -- Like your bacon crisp? And well-browned with a nice greasy sheen? Well, these natural-leather treats might be just what you're looking for, with the chewing time measured in hours rather than seconds. And you and your favorite canine can lie down together on the living room rug in front of the TV, turn on Dog the Bounty Hunter, and enjoy a good chew.

8. Smart Bacon -- Is this the best they could do in making this combination of TVP and gluten look like bacon? It's a wan attempt, to be sure, but at least you don't have to worry that the pig was well cared for and slaughtered humanely. What Lightlife has slaughtered instead, I'm afraid, is the idea of bacon.

7. Turkey Bacon -- Many Muslim-owned bodegas use this in BLTs with perfect success, and even though it doesn't look appetizing in the package, it will do in a pinch. And hey, maybe someone will start making artisanal turkey bacon!

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