Ham is at its Most Expensive because American Pigs are too Fat

Pork production is up, but so is the cost of ham, even with a seasonal increase in supply ahead

Holiday ham will cost more this year than ever. 

This year, American hogs are at their heaviest weight ever after being fed for longer to make up for losses caused by a deadly virus that wiped out piglets by the millions, reports Bloomberg.

While heavier animals mean more pork per pig, “their hind legs exceed the size used for producing the seven-pound spiral-cut, half-hams that are the most popular for family meals during year-end holidays.”

The price of ham has risen steeply —by 26 percent through October — to a record $3.43 per pound, according to government data. Overall, the number of hogs slaughtered has also been reduced by 5.2 percent, further raising the cost of meat.

Even as a seasonal increase in ham supply lowers prices in the fourth quarter, they are still likely to be the highest ever for their respective period of the year, agricultural market researcher Steve Meyer, of Paragon Economics, told Bloomberg.

For the latest food and drink updates, visit our Food News page.


Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.