Previous: 3 World-Changing Biology Experiments
Next: The World's 5 Rarest Animals



View count:389,348
Last sync:2024-02-10 01:00


Citation formatting is not guaranteed to be accurate.
MLA Full: "The Bacon Hoax & the Next REAL Food Shortage." YouTube, uploaded by SciShow, 3 October 2012,
MLA Inline: (SciShow, 2012)
APA Full: SciShow. (2012, October 3). The Bacon Hoax & the Next REAL Food Shortage [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (SciShow, 2012)
Chicago Full: SciShow, "The Bacon Hoax & the Next REAL Food Shortage.", October 3, 2012, YouTube, 03:02,
Hank eases our minds about the alleged bacon shortage, and informs us of some actual meat shortages we may see the effects of in the coming years.

Like SciShow?
Follow SciShow!

References for this episode can be found in the Google document here:

Chef's Collaborative Seafood Solution -
Seafood Selector -
Marine Stewardship Council -
Seafood Choices Alliance -
Sustainable Sushi -
Hank: Hello, this is SciShow Breaking News. I'm Hank Green. By now, you have probably recovered from the greatest panic of our time: THE GREAT BACON SHORTAGE OF TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE.

If you are one of those people who've spent the last two weeks hording up a big stash of fat back, I should probably tell you that the whole thing was basically a hoax. But it, like most things, can be explained by science.

It all began when an actual British trade organization with the actual name "The Pig Association" issued a press release declaring "a world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable."

Now, of course, the first person to freak out about anything like this is going to be the Internet and suddenly it was all like, "what am I going to put on my BLT" and "now what weird thing can I use to infuse my hipster martini?"

Inflammatory headlines aside, though, The Pig Association was trying to prepare us for higher pork prices because of another more actual crisis: drought.

In both Europe and the US, this summer has been one of the driest in recent memory. Parts of Europe from Spain to Finland got only about 25% of their average rainfall, while 62% of the US is experiencing drought.

In local news, we have just reached our 42nd day without rain here in Missoula, Montana, which is a record beating the old one set in 1896. 

So what does this have to do with pigs? Well, the drought ruined much of the global corn crop and since pigs are fed corn, that means your ham chop and streaky bacon are all going to cost more.

But there's not going to be any shortage, so you can just calm down.

But, some meats are in increasingly short supply. For example, tuna. In parts of the United States, fresh tuna is getting harder to find in restaurants and markets. And what you can find is getting more expensive.

According to an international fisheries group, this year's tuna catch in the Pacific Ocean is down 200,000 tons from last year. And it's 300,000 tons lower than in 2005.

There are lots of theories about why this is, but many scientists are warning that over-fishing is the biggest threat.

Early in 2012, Spanish and Canadian marine biologists studied 26 tuna populations world-wide and found that most were so over-exploited that some populations faced extinction.

The total biomass of bluefin and albacore tuna in particular, has plummeted 80% in just 50 years, they said.

And just last week a team of US biologists released a study of 7700 fisheries in the open ocean around the world, many of which had never been studied before, and found that more than half of them are in steady decline due to over-fishing.

But thankfully, the scientists say that all is not lost. Fish stocks can rebound if we start monitoring and protecting them. The Spanish and Canadian biologists even say that consumers don't need to avoid eating fish, but they should be mindful of where and how their fish is caught.

You can learn more about sustainable fishing in the links below.

Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow Breaking News and enjoy your BLT.

If you want to keep getting smarter with us, here at SciShow you can go to and subscribe.