Friday, September 1, 2006

Bread Moguls Strike Back

GOAL: 80 LBS. between Aug. 16, 2006, and March 28, 2007
STATUS: 17.8 lost; 62.2 to go

An interesting story from the New York Times acknowledges, in a backhanded way, the effect that the Low Carb movement has had on bread sales--and Bread is fighting back.

In the article, it says the Grain Foods Foundation is in the midst of a $3.5 million ad campaign urging people to celebrate the sandwich and eat not one, but two, slices of bread at a time. Even though the low carb "craze," as the Times calls it, has cooled a little, the per capita consumption of wheat flour in the US is down to 133 pounds a year. Wait a minute here. Good grief! That's saying every person in the USA eats 133 pounds of wheat flour a year. Take away children, who eat less, and us low-carbers, who eat little or none, and the rest of the folks are probably eating more like 200 pounds of flour a year. That's a lot of flour. And we wonder why obesity is on the rise?

Anyway, "the effects of the anticarb crusade linger, much to the dismay of the members of the foundation, which include marketers from the milling and baking industries, trade organizations and suppliers," the article says.

The first year of the campaign was spent "telling people it's okay to eat bread again." The second will focus on "telling people bread is back." Did it leave? Did I miss something? What was that in the basket they slapped in front of my face at Texas Roadhouse last week?

The new message from bread: it's good for you, and healthy. And profitable for everyone. The foundation's website, GRAINPOWER, is sponsoring a contest to find the best sandwich recipe. The winner gets--you gotta admit it's clever--a trip to Sandwich, in County Kent, England. Where the thing was allegedly invented by the Earl of Sandwich back in the olden days.

Maybe some industrious low-carbers should enter some breadless sandwich recipes and see how they do!

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