All the newspapers and websites agree: Britain faces a crisis—a lard crisis.

Demand in east European countries for cheap cuts of pork has led to a shortage of meat suitable for rendering into lard. ... Somerfield said it had already been forced to limit the number of tubs of lard on sale at each of its stores. It is advising customers to check their local stores to see if another delivery has arrived.

No more lard; no more jokes about lard. No more lard-arses, or tubs of lard, or “Praise the lard!” No more will shoppers be greeted with scenes like this:

Lardscape by JE, 2001

The BBC reports that “the current crisis has probably not been matched since lard rationing during World War II”. Indeed, whole generations could grow up not even knowing what lard looks like. In years to come, they’ll tell their grandchildren about the day Daddy came home from the war and handed them their first mince pie. Or a banana carved out of lard.

But the real tragedy is not that Poland and Hungary are greedily hoarding good old British lard to make “sausages, salamis and pies”, or that chips and Yorkshire puddings will now taste “entirely different” (not salami-flavoured, presumably). The worst of it is, as the Guardian tells us in its round-up of lard facts, that the Queen’s smallest subjects will be denied some hearty winter fun:

A block of lard makes an excellent skating rink for insects.

No more Lard of the Flies.

But never fear. Pork scratchings make an excellent flea-circus obstacle course.