Brickbats

Brickbat: Making Bacon

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Bacon and other pork products could become hard to get next year in California. That's when state regulators begin enforcing an animal welfare law approved by voters in 2018. The law requires specific space for pigs, egg-laying hens and veal calves. Egg and veal producers say they should be able to meet the requirements, but only 4 percent of pig farmers nationwide currently meet the standards. Barring a court intervention, a state waiver, or costly upgrades to their operations, the farms that don't meet those standards won't be allowed to sell pork to California customers.

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59 responses to “Brickbat: Making Bacon

  1. I hear they’re doing wonderful things with tofu, California voters.

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    2. Tofu is a soyrry excuse for faux pork.

      1. So close.
        “Soyrry excuse faux pork” would have nailed it.

          1. First they came faux the foi gras, but I was not a Frenchman.
            Then they came for the weiner schnitzel, but I was not a disgraced congressman.
            Then they came for the roast guinea pig…..

            https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2021/08/peru-ponders-guinea-pigouvian-tax-on.html

  2. So, will there be refrigerated semi-trucks using back roads to cross the border in the dead of night to sell bacon in vacant lots? Will there be a crime wave of bacon pushers? Will there be no-knock raids on houses using suspicious amounts of electricity due to the industrial refrigerators hidden inside? Will there be bacon sniffing dogs at border inspection stations?

    1. They’ll be selling Soylent Green from inside pockets of trench coats, and passing it off as bacon!

      1. 😉 There is a reason that human flesh was referred to as “long pig”.

    2. The first one is actually plausible, if the law got strictly enforced and the pork/bacon supply really went down 96%. There are small black markets in various ethnic food products the USDA won’t allow through customs, and the market for bacon is much larger than for those products.

    3. “Carnitaball Run.”

    4. Mother’s Lament already working out the logistics to smuggle in Canadien Bacon.

      1. The just call it back bacon.

    5. I see a market for printing counterfeit labels saying these pork products came from a farm that meets California standards, even when they don’t.

    6. The part about no-knock raids sounds legit.

      But I find it ironic that out of every other place in the US you won’t find any pork in CA.

    7. I don’t know, since this only affects sales of bacon not possession right? This looks like a business opportunity to me. First would this law include Indian reservations? I tend to doubt it as they sell tax free tobacco products. That would be solution number one, yeah it may be convenient to have to make a reservation run but no different than going to Costco or Sam’s once a month and stocking up, not to mention pork keeps quite well in the freezer.
      Barring that this is an opportunity for the border states, I can see huge Sam’s and Costco’s opening just inside Arizona, Nevada etc. This will just hurt the local grocery stores while being a boon for the small towns across the border.

      As for the restaurants, does this law extend to what they sell or just cover what they can purchase in the state?

  3. So how will the great divide work?
    Jews to the north and Muslims to the south, or the other way around?
    How will Nevada react to the huge influx of Christians and atheists?

  4. This article is bacon the question, does Cali really want pork available?

    1. Cali is saying, “Pork you” to most pig farmers in the USA! You’re bacon up the wrong tree!

    1. Things I learned today from a spambot: it somehow got two links in its spam. I will try that in reply to myself. Last time I tried, one was the limit.

      1. Looks like the one-link limit is no more. Whether it will take more than three, I leave as an exercise for other students.

        1. Ah … the two-link comment was taken as is. The three-link comment is “awaiting moderation”.

  5. Pork prices about to drop for the rest of us.

    1. Soon we’ll all be pigging out. Except for Ken and Sevo…

    2. Pork prices about to drop for the rest of us

      If only. Pork producers will not let such a large market go untapped, so many will increase their costs to meet (meat) demand. And no matter how businesses mince words when asked about passing costs to the consumer, in a free market, all costs trickle down eventually. Hopefully more to california, but we will all see prices go up as a result of california’s action. California is a large enough fraction of total market share that their actions effect all markets. This is most clear in cars, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and so many things which manufacturers find easier to make one product california compliant, rather than two products, with cost only increased in california.

      1. so many will increase their costs to meet (meat) demand

        Even assuming you mistakenly said “cost” when you meant “price”, this is still an abjectly economically retarded post. Like, fail HS economics, retarded.

        1. I think it is mad.casual who failed HS economics. Gasman is correct in his evaluation.

          1. I hate to side with mad.casual, but Gasman is quite wrong in the short term. In the short term, before producers have had the chance of reacting to this, there will be a glut of pork which cannot be sold in California, and has to be either sold or destroyed. Basic econ 101 says an increase in supply lowers prices.

            1. Maybe there won’t be an increase in supply.

              Right now, there’s a bottleneck in processing plants. And there’s a huge regulatory burden to overcome to set up new meat processing, which is a big part of why only a few, massive, enterprises do most processing anymore.

              Anyway, pig farmers are selling at a loss this year even though there’s currently record demand, local prices at retail have doubled, and international demand remains very strong. And, yet, that’s still not enough incentive for smaller processors to set up new processing facilities.

              This tells me it is not a “free” market, it’s a broken one. Regulatory capture FTW!

              California is a big market. Something will happen. But it won’t be “basic” econ related so much a the modified version that conforms to all the unintended consequences.

              1. Anyway, pig farmers are selling at a loss this year even though there’s currently record demand, local prices at retail have doubled, and international demand remains very strong. And, yet, that’s still not enough incentive for smaller processors to set up new processing facilities.

                You’re talking about processors, not producers. CA’s law appies to producers, not processors. Increase the number of processors 10-fold and it doesn’t matter if the suppression of demand is levied against the producers.

                It’s not a “free” market but that doesn’t mean economics doesn’t apply. Command economics, price inflation, and demand/supply suppression/distortion are still HS-level economics concepts.

                JFC, I’m no genius agronomist. I *can’t* be this much smarter than the rest of you. Maybe I’ve been short shrifting my public HS education?

                1. Increase the number of processors 10-fold and it doesn’t matter if the suppression of demand is levied against the producers.

                  Meaning a production shortage/suppression won’t be fixed/significantly affected by a processing surplus. See cars and electronics shortages in the face of chip shortages. Plenty of workers to convert raw chips to cars and phones, not enough chips.

          2. No he’s not. Demand will remain relatively constant ‘for the rest of us’ (presuming ‘us’ is people outside CA) and they won’t raise prices because the excess that they can’t sell to CA will rot.

            Longer term, it will become like any drug that’s illegal in the larger US, where it’s nowhere to be found in the US and costs 50000 dollars per kilo but you can stroll through fields of it miles wide and pay 50000 pesos for the same amount across the border. Any price increase will reflect the increased risk/service required to deliver the product and the production/storage will be relatively cheap.

  6. More bacon for the rest of us!!!!!!

    Everyone loves bacon, even my orthodox Jewish friend!

    Sorry California, your stupidity is our gain!

  7. California. Leading the way to the ultimate nanny-fascist state since 1911.

  8. The law requires specific space for pigs, egg-laying hens and veal calves.

    And in California that space will be safe and inclusional.

    1. Does it contain a limit on the capacity of your rasher?

  9. Let the 4% and others that want to increase costs by reducing production or creating more space sell to California at higher prices to accommodate the higher costs of production.

    The rest of the producers can sell to the other 49 states at regular prices. Californians are already used to paying more for the privilege of living in the state.

    1. They don’t want to increase costs by reducing production, CA is forcing them to.

  10. More bacon for the rest of us. I’m sure we can make up for pork producers loosing access to the California market if we try hard enough.

  11. If there’s a way to fuck things up, California has us all beat.

    Recall Newsom.

    1. unfortunately in this case Newsom had nothing to do with this the idiots in the cities voted for this.

  12. The only pork that CA politicians don’t like.

  13. Where’s Ron Bailey? I want him to preach to me how practices that prevent the spread of disease like concrete-floor ‘industrial farming’ and high density feeding will allow more land to be ‘returned to nature’.

    1. The fantasy(delusion?) is that they will make meat (not just pork) so expensive that it gets people stop eating meat. When people stop eating meat, the big producers will go out of business and the land that used to be used for raising livestock can be returned to nature.

  14. California will still have plenty of pork – – the high speed train to nowhere for example.

  15. “or costly upgrades to their operations”

    Oh, boy! Sounds like an opportunity for even more “infrastructure” spending!

  16. Lucky i live on land, I think I’l start raising chickens and pigs. I’ll need a lot of pigs fro teh amount of bacon i eat. wonder if I can grow a pig that only has bacon.

    1. wonder if I can grow a pig that only has bacon.

      No*, but you can sell the shoulder, loin, legs, and skin to subsidize your bacon habit. Butchers that will rent you a locker for your bacon and buy the rest of the animal off you to resell are rarer than they used to be, but they still exist.

      *You can raise and slaughter pot belly pigs, but in light of my point above, the relatively slower growth and $$ lost on the other cuts doesn’t offset the relative increase in the amount of quality (PBPs have a greater potential to produce lard rather than well marbled meat) bacon.

  17. Sucks to be in CA, but more and cheaper for the rest of us! Yumm.

  18. Da Fuck. Pork producers like auto manufacturers will fall all over themselves to sell in California, passing the cost increases to everyone else.

  19. More for the rest of us!

  20. I didn’t vote for this. No way, no how. However, I did not know until now that it applied to pork produced outside the state. My assumption upon reading the proposition blurb was that it applied to the state of California, and not to all the other states. And I suspect most other voters assumed the same.

    The state has a bad history of fudging the legislative summary of referendums.

  21. F. Paul Wilson, winner of the Prometheus Award for libertarian science fiction, predicted this sort of thing in a short story, “Lipidleggin'”, in 1978:
    https://billstclair.com/DoingFreedom/000623/df.0600.fa.lipidleggin.html

  22. Animal Farm – George Orwell 1945
    When the animals outside look at the pigs and men, they can no longer distinguish between the two.

    That’s were they are at in California too!

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