When the Chicago Mercantile Exchange announced the other day that pork belly futures would no longer be traded, it was hardly a shock. Trades had shrunk to almost nothing. Volatility was too much. The frozen bellies, used to make bacon, were, in the view of some, losing relevance.Still, the demise of the futures means something else is really gone now, too — a unique belly culture and its hard-charging, daring cast of characters who, decades ago, made their fortunes in the high pressure of the belly pit. ...Way back, pork belly futures made sense. The bellies were frozen and set aside, then used to make bacon during the summers when the demand for it (think bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches) rose. But the pork belly landscape has shifted, said Shane Ellis, a livestock economist at Iowa State University. With bacon accompanying salads, hamburgers, even chocolate, it is on call all year now, removing some of the demand for frozen bellies. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/us/31porkbelly.html?hpw
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