Don't worry, we're not going to run out of bacon

Reports that 2017 could see a devastating bacon shortage spread rapidly Wednesday morning, causing mass hysteria online.

But don't worry -- the rumors aren't true. Our bacon supply is just fine.

It all started with a recent report from the USDA shared by the Ohio Pork Council, which states that the country's frozen pork belly inventory is at its lowest point in half a century.

At the end of 2016, the reserves held just 17.8 million pounds -- 35 million pounds fewer than the year prior.

"Today's pig farmers are setting historic records by producing more pigs than ever," Rich Deaton, the president of the council, said in a statement. "Yet our reserves are still depleting."

Outlets including NBC, CBS, USA Today and Business Insider ran stories about a shortage, but the New York Times pointed out that the statement doesn't mean we're actually running out of bacon.

The frozen reserves are just a stockpile of extra pork belly. You won't need to ration your bacon intake.

"To imply that there's going to be some shortage of bacon is wrong," Steve Meyer, the vice president of pork analysis for EMI Analytics, told the New York Times. "There's plenty of hogs coming. There's going to be plenty of bacon."

Though it's true our supply of bacon is certainly down and the price of pork belly has gone up 50 cents a pound in the last two months. we're not going to run out any time soon.

Deaton said in an interview that the creation of was merely a marketing opportunity.

"If somebody Googled that, they'd get on our website, and the information there is actually to quell the fears that we're going to run out," he said.

"The demand is high and us pig farmers, not only in Ohio but throughout the U.S., have risen to the occasion and are going to meet that demand."

Creating mass panic "was not our intent," Deaton said. "We can't control how the news is interpreted."

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