Even though the swine flu hasn’t caused the devastation that some predicted, it has still harmed many people. Widespread concern over this flu has had a curious financial side effect that I didn’t know about until my wife pointed it out to me.
A couple of nights ago my family enjoyed a large pork roast that fed four hungry people and left enough for lunch for two. I wasn’t too surprised to find out that the roast cost only $5.50 because my wife routinely finds good deals on meat.
But this wasn’t a case of a pork roast that was a day from its expiration date. My wife tells me that pork is almost always on sale now and that this roast would have cost more than $10 a year ago.
Many factors go into the pricing of goods, but the dominant factor for pork right now is the swine flu. For some reason, people are avoiding pork because of this new flu. This makes no sense at all; experts say that you can’t catch swine flu from eating pork, but people are avoiding pork anyway.
So there you have it. A combination of a new flu and widespread ignorance has a small silver lining: cheap pork. Of course, pork producers won’t see this as a silver lining. That’s why they would rather call the swine flu the H1N1 virus. I’m not too optimistic about the new name catching on soon.