The good news is that the pig virus is not spread to humans, not does it affect the pork consumed by humans. The bad news is that the price of pork will most surely increase, as evidenced by Hillshire Farms' proposed price increases.
The Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) had never been reported in North America until May, when it was discovered in the United States, according to Updated News. Currently, 20 states have reported piglets dead from the virus that mostly affects the very young. Diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration quickly kills up to 80 percent of the piglets infected.
Although the corn and soybean crops that fatten the hogs have had a banner year, making the cost of feed go down, the price of pork will go up. It is a matter of supply and demand. Higher prices will cause families to eat less pork or to eat pork differently.
By using pork just to season a dish or flavor a pot of beans, people will ultimately benefit by consuming a better diet. Just as supply and demand works for the farmer, low demand against a glut of meat will bring the prices back down.
How healthy is pork, anyway? The leaner cuts of pork are high in protein, low in fat and have more B-vitamins than many other types of meat. Compared to chicken, there is little difference in nutritional value. There are fewer calories in a serving of pork tenderloin than a serving of chicken breast, according to Food Network.
Anyone raising pork for home consumption or the market should take great care around pig manure, through which the virus is spread. Wash hands frequently, clean and disinfect all surfaces that manure has come into contact with and don't spread the manure as fertilize.