Bacon prices hit a new all-time high

Love bacon?  Now, you're going to have to pay more than ever to get your hands on it.

The average price of bacon across America has risen 14 percent since June of last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now bacon is going for a whopping $6.11 per pound, which is 41 percent higher than the per-pound price in June 2012.

In fact. according to the Huffington Post, bacon today is about 21 percent pricier than it was in the early 1980s after adjusting for inflation.

The three biggest factors affecting the current price are a porcine epidemic —a diarrhea virus killing pigs in the U.S. by the thousands—an ongoing drought that is raising pig feed prices, and a high demand, which would not surprise any one paying attention to the food scene for last few years.

Should bacon lovers be worried about a shortage?

In 2012, a British industry group said that a world shortage of pork and bacon was "unavoidable."  Britain's National Pig Association (NPA) says that pig herds in Europe are shrinking. As if that isn’t bad enough, this trend was “being mirrored around the world.”

Not much has changed since then. The porcine epidemic diarrhea has contributed to a decreased the pig population and resulted in a 7 percent drop in U.S. pork production so far this year, according to the agribusiness research firm Rabobank.

There's good reason to start giving up the bacon now.  Consider that for about six dollars you could buy a whole four-pound chicken, three dozen eggs, a six-pack of Bud Light and six pounds of kale.

But the high prices hasn't slowed down bacon lovers. Figures from Nielsen, a New York-based global measurement company, show that sales rose 11 percent to $4.2 billion in the 12 months ending July 5.

Bacon mania appears to be alive and well --at least for now.