Forget Chicken: Americans Want the Other White Meat

Some ad slogans are so perfect, they instantly lend themselves to memes and jokes. Think about how many parodies of "Got milk?" you've seen in your lifetime, let alone "Keep calm and carry on." When the National Pork Board dropped its immortal tagline, "The Other White Meat," in 1987, we all know someone had struck gold.

Today, pork might actually have achieved the unthinkable: It's on its way to being more popular among American shoppers than chicken. Quite a feat, considering that in 2017, everyone was panicking because we might run out of bacon.

Restaurants are pushing more and more beef products, while grocery stores are offering pork at bargain prices. Though shoppers might be glad to see those savings, the reason behind them isn't great news. In fact, it's political — this is an outgrowth of the president's trade war with China. The United States, in effect, has too many pigs, because China and Mexico have made it too expensive to import them.

Vegetarians shouldn't get too smug. Soybean farmers are stockpiling their harvests even as they threaten to overwhelm agricultural infrastructure, because soybeans and sorghum are also caught up in the trade war. Manufacturers aren't producing more tofu and soy milk just because this year's crop might rot unsold. It's a disaster for an already uncertain industry, and a key source of income across the Upper Midwest.

As for big chicken, things don't look so great either. Apparently, poultry prices are down to their lowest weekly average on record. The benefits may be apparent to shoppers now, but that could change the longer we're locked into the status quo.