With images of pigs and barbecued meats tattooed on his left calf, Brian Polak is doing what he can to cope with the highest price of bacon in three decades. The 41-year-old self-proclaimed “baconholic” now often cures his own at home to help reduce costs.
“A day doesn’t go by where I don’t have at least a strip,” Polak, a senior-program manager for AT&T Inc. who lives in Carol Stream, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “I don’t think I could ever cut it completely out.”
Declining supplies of pigs that resulted from a deadly virus that spread across 30 states since the outbreak began last year have pushed up retail-bacon prices 10 percent in 2014 to $6.106 a pound in June, the highest since at least 1980, government data show. Wholesale pork-belly costs doubled, reaching a record $2.0353 a pound in April, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.