A Chinese official recently offered an intriguing explanation for his city's pervasive smog: bacon.
Xinhua, China's official press agency, reported that Rao Bing, an environmental official in the city of Dazhou, blamed the smoking of bacon for the city's air pollution. And, in response, civil servants began raiding and destroying facilities where meat is smoked.
Some onlookers, however, suspected that bacon was being scapegoated. Chinese skeptics took to Sina Weibo (China's equivalent to Twitter) to mock the decision: "Smoking bacon has a long history, but smog does not," one wrote.
And war on bacon aside, air pollution in China keeps rising. Smog in Beijing has once again reached hazardous levels — 20 times higher than the recommended limit in mid-January. Most experts tend to think the increasing numbers of cars and factories throughout the country are much a bigger culprit than bacon smoke. Still, the bacon uproar highlights how air pollution has become an increasingly incendiary issue there.