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SAMS American Eatery is concerned for its Life with Bacon Possibly Disappearing

Jeannie Kim kept her San Francisco restaurant, SAMS, open during the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a revised menu and extended hours. That makes it all the more irritating that she worries new laws could make one of her top menu items – bacon – difficult to obtain in California within months, putting her breakfast-focused eatery out of business.

Kim, who for 15 years has run SAMS American Eatery on the city’s busy Market Street, said, “Our number one seller is bacon, eggs and hash browns. It could be devastating for us.” California will begin enforcing an animal welfare initiative adopted by voters overwhelmingly in 2018 that demands extra space for breeding pigs, egg-laying birds, and veal calves at the start of next year.

National veal and egg producers are optimistic that they will be able to satisfy the new regulations, but only 4% of hog enterprises have already done so. California will lose practically all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, and pork farmers will face greater costs to reclaim a critical market.

For years, animal welfare organisations have pushed for more humane treatment of farm animals, but the California restrictions may be a rare instance of people paying a price for their convictions. With little time left to construct additional facilities, inseminate sows, and process the progeny before January, it’s difficult to see how the pig industry will be able to effectively feed California, which consumes about 15% of all pork produced in the US.

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