By Brad Edwards

CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s a potential international pork shortage, and Illinois may not escape it.

“Economically, it’s not a good time,” Tim Maiers of the Illinois Pork Producers Association tells CBS 2’s Brad Edwards.

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The summer drought caused a spike in feed prices, and Illinois pork producers – the fourth largest group in the U.S. — are losing $40 to $45 a head.  Right now, they’re downsizing their herds, which could portend a long-term shortage.

A world without bacon?

“Utter sadness,” Damen Denemark said at 694 Wine & Spirits.

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Owner Chris Dunstatter prepped for Tuesday’s BLT Special. He said the outcry over the lack of bacon would force him to find it somewhere.

Chicago is also home to the infant, yet booming, Baconfest.  In a few short years, it’s grown to thousands in attendance and pounds of bacon consumed.

“Even if there’s a bacon shortage or bacon gets expensive, there will be plenty of bacon to go around at Baconfest,” organizer Seth Zurer promises.

The owner of Paddy Long’s Beer and Bacon Pub in Chicago, where they go through 500 pounds of bacon a week, says now prices are great.  But he knows his bacon and he says the forecast is reason for worry.

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Brad Edwards