The Carbohydrate Manifesto

May 17, 2004 | By | COMMENTS

How did we come to this?

Yesterday, I was pumping gas at the QT and in the little plastic picture frame above the gas meter was an ad: “We Now Offer Low Carb Lunches!” At the Atlanta Bread Company, where I went for lunch today, a large banner hung overhead: “Check out our low carb options!” On TV, just now, I saw an ad for an Atkins supplement bar: “To get you the vitamins and nutrients you need on your low carb diet!”

According to a February report from market researcher ACNielsen, more than 17% of those polled reported that someone in the household was on a low-carbohydrate diet.

America is choking down this anti-carbohydrate propoganda and the food community is in an uproar. At least this member is!

Look, I understand how hard it is to lose weight. I have a mother and grandmother who dieted my whole childhood–everything from weight watchers to Suzanne Summers to Oprah to Donahue and back–and I know that the process can be devastatingly slow and results can be slim. But I can’t help but believe that this no-carb diet is a bad thing. Anything in excess is a bad thing. Cutting a food group completely out of your life is a bad thing.

Not only that, the impact is significant. Carbohydrate-based companies like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Panera Bread are losing money. Carb consumption is becoming taboo. Bread sits uneaten on the table. Pasta and pizza joints are firing waiters. Lauren and I went to Osteria tonight and the waiters outnumbered the customers.

I went to Osteria tonight, actually, to prove a point. The point is this: I want carbs. I like carbs. Carbs are good.

Here is the pasta I ordered:

IMG_2197

Do you know what it’s made of? Carbs. And do you know what it tasted like? Delicious.

People, we are in a Carb Crisis, and I want to do something about it. Together, we can make a difference. I even made this motivational video:

Download The SAVE THE CARBS Movie.

That’s right, kids. Tonight we launch the SAVE THE CARBS! campaign. If I could make a button for the site I would do that but I don’t know how. Do you? You should! And then give it to me! Only with eachother’s help can we SAVE THE CARBS!

But here’s an actual constructive idea that I would like to implement immediately. I am going to do so in bold.

I DECLARE THIS THURSDAY, MAY 20TH, NATIONAL CARB AWARENESS DAY.

That’s right. Spread the word. This Thursday everyone–including you–will eat a gratuitous carbohydrate. No, not your daily dose of granola; we’re talking a mega-cupcake, or a big black and white cookie. Thursday, we’re going start a revolution and start it right. And if you have a website, please spread the word. The more people who know about it, the greater the impact we can make. Plus what else do you have to do? It’s not like you have a vibrant social life. I’m just saying.

So, in conclusion, don’t do it for your country. Don’t do it for your God, or your mother, or your accountant. Do it for the organ that matters most. No, not that one. Do it for your stomach. Only you can save the carbs, America. Won’t you?

Categories: Essays

  • sean

    you should make a song for this

  • http://vidiot.typepad.com Vidiot

    Yeah. Maybe you can start “Carb Aid.”

  • http://vidiot.typepad.com Vidiot

    …and remember how Live Aid’s logo was the outline of Africa with a guitar neck added? Maybe you could do the same with, I dunno, a piece of Melba toast or something.

  • http://www.berrystained.com/ susan

    I agree wholeheartedly, but, er, isn’t that a South Beach Diet ad in the corner of your blog? Shh!

  • http://snapculture.blogspot.com gretch

    While Krispy Kreme is pleased to blame Atkins for their falling profits, the real culprit was overexpansion into secondary retail outlets (like supermarkets.) And we all know that cold Krispy Kremes at the supermarket are a sad imitation of the real thing, hot off the donut machine, served in a real KK store.

  • Leah

    Love the video…I’m on the SBD, lost maybe 6 lbs so far and I don’t feel deprived :) I actually had a sensible serving of boston creme pie and vanilla ice cream last night at a party. And I can still have breads, just whole grains, multi-grain stuff, super healthy, cleans you out good. Haha, okay, it’s alright adam!

  • http://loc1991.typepad.com/random_ramblings/ Elisabeth

    Save the Carbs!

    Hallelujah!

  • http://www.neato.co.nz christine d.

    Didja see this news story?

    It would seem that low-carb food sales are going down. Sounds like there is still hope for carbs.

    Hoorah!

  • http://bigjim.org/ Jim

    I was a 275 lb. man in February and weigh 235 now because of low carb. It’s not for everyone but I’ve tried lots of other diets and nothing else even comes close. I’m all about some low carb. When I hit my target weight I’ll start eating more carbs again but never like I was before I started Atkins.

  • http://thevastminority.com mark

    Just thought it was funny enough to point out that your Google AdSense ads are for Low Carbohydrate Snacks (free tortillas with all orders).

    My personal favorite as of late is all the restaurants advertising “New Low-carb Salads!” on their menus. I could be wrong, but I believe salads have always been low-carb.

  • http://kadmium.net/kadmium/ David McCreath
  • Robin

    I just wanted to point out to those that aren’t aware that Atkins (and the like) are not NO CARB. They are low-carb, or controlled-carb. You can’t convince me that having less sugar and white flour won’t help me… there is nothing good about those “foods”. Either way I think watching carbs is a good way to keep appetite down.

  • http://www.norlos.com/weblog/ hellx

    Yeah, I despise low carb diets, but don’t blame Krispy Kreme’s or Panera’s problems on Atkins; blame it on poor management.

  • http://www.gwenworld.com Gwen

    Thank you, Robin.

    I lost 100 lbs on Atkins. Screw Krispy K and Panaderia if they’re crying for my money.

    Vegetables are carbs, people. The Atkins diet is about avoiding the carbs that promote hypoglycemia. (Sugar. White flour.)

    It would be so awesome if people actually read the Atkins book before they foamed at the mouth about it. Also – who’s keeping anyone from eating bread? Jesus. Don’t worry – donuts won’t cease to exist. Live and let live, you know? I’d rather see signs that say “Low carb!” than signs that say “Lose weight fast!” and then “Did you take [latest weight-loss drug]? Join our class-action lawsuit now!”

    I don’t need a Carb Awareness Day. Believe me – people trying low-carb diets now were having Carb Awareness Days every day of their lives, long before you got annoyed by the diets.

  • Obaketenshi

    You are officially my food god! Its about time someone spoke up!

    And those of you who are like “OMG Atkins is teh awesome!” Shut up. Please. Its sad when there is low-carb *pasta* for gods sake. How dare you have to change your lifestyle in order to lose weight!

  • http://www.redtulip.net April

    In honour of Carb Awareness Day, I was going to have a donut. I’ve since decided to get a baker’s dozen. After all, my husband deserves to have a donut, too.

  • http://www.sixtywatts.net Katy

    Amen!

  • alex

    I think it’s funny that the Google Ad Words are both for low-carb diets.

  • Kris

    I lost 40 pounds because I ate lots of vegetables and exercised. I maintain my weight by eating a well-balanced diet and exercising. My breath is fresh, my heart is good, and my energy is high. And I eat doughnuts. Yum.

  • http://www.thatsalliknow.blogspot.com Bobette

    I’m an Atkin’s fan but I could use a day off. Pasta tonight! Bread! Chocolate cake!

    Mmmmmm. Donuts…….

  • http://www.digitalpretzel.com fred

    in an effort to support the save the carbs day, I just chomped down a huge scrumptous canoli. high in carbs? i dont know. I do know that it was a whopping 500+ calories per bite.ahem… serving size. and it was good.

  • Johnathan

    Y’all should really hook up with Obadiah, morning show host of RadioU.com – he is running a campaign called “COMMIT TO BE FAT” and would probably support Save The Carbs.

  • karen

    It’s called a LOW-CARB diet, not a NO-CARB diet, so right off the bat you’re being deceptive by saying such dieters are eliminating carbs. The point of the low-carb diet is getting BETTER, more COMPLEX carbs. Oh, and dieting all your life is a lot more dangerous than changing your eating patterns, losing weight proportionally, and keeping it off; which is what I’ve done with the low-carb diet. 45 lbs. lost in three months and I’ve kept the weight off for two years. More importantly, a whole host of physical ailments have disappeared!! Anyone wanting to lose weight should go to a NUTRITIONIST, not a doctor, not a chef, and find out what works best for them.

  • J. Nathan

    Hi, I just found this from the Health section of the Blog Newspaper http://www.worldstargazette.com

    This is great

  • marty

    Right on! Personally, for someone who helps himself to Top Ramen 3 times a day, without those noodly carbs, I’d be on a diet of broth. Frightening!

    Hmmm…a broth diet….

  • http://www.wayoutinn.com/clg/a_musings christine

    i’ve lost 25lbs on atkins so far. the thing that atkins made us realize is we were eating well, but too much of well (way too much veggies AND pasta AND potatoes, especially them damn potatoes) and so we read the stupid atkins book and realized what we were doing wrong carb-wise.

    in our house, we were carb slaves. high carbs and tons of them, with relatively little exercise. now, we’re hiking three times a week, eating better carbs in smaller proportions, and doing okay. it’s not so much a diet but a lifestyle change for us. and it’s working out.

    for thinner folk, like yerself (i’m judging based on your graphic at the top of the page) pasta and potatoes can fill your diet and you’ll be fine. for the overweight like myself… well, the change is necessary.

    i’ll mark my calendar for next year’s carb-love-fest, and i’ll have some garlic mashed spuds to celebrate.

    enjoying the journal… lots of fun reading. thanks for maintaining it.

  • Alesha

    I saw that Hershey’s now has a low carb chocolate bar. Oh my beloved Hershey bar has even given in…I grieve.

  • mckenzie

    I think the low carb diet works great for the moderately active to sedentary personalities. It also great for people who lack the self-discipline to cut back on junk foods and simple sugars themselves-they need dr atkins to prescribe that. Using common sense and making wise food choices can be hard for some. for the rest, throw away the crap books -dr Atkins great health history is testament to how well it works-Love the carbs! Keep em coming. As for the biggest success on the low-carb diets? dear dr Atkins himself, hes made billions teaching quack science

  • http://www.sabinesgarden.com Sabine

    Amen brother…. I’ll be eating carbs enthusiastically for dinner!

  • River

    Atkins is LOW-Carb not NO-Carb, as others have said. It’s about choosing whole-grain, natural low-glycemic carbs and veggies and cutting out white flour and sugar. For people without insulin problems, eating overly processed foods with white flour, sugar, etc. might be OK, but for the millions of Americans who have insulin problems and have GAINED weight on a low-fat, high carb diet, eating LOW-carb is the answer to their problems. And by the way, before Atkins, most of us weren’t gaining weight because of a lack of willpower, we were gaining weight because we were eating a high carb, low fat diet, which is the worst diet for those with insulin problems. Why should people finding an answer to their health problems annoy anyone else? What a selfish viewpoint. And who’s saying you folks without insulin problems can’t have your doughnuts – eat away.

  • http://www.lowcarbcrib.com Hansen Sinclair

    Hey There,

    I was looking at your Web site and saw a lot of great things on it. We also have similar content on our sites and I thought it would be a great idea for us to link with each other. Our sites have everything from tips to advice on eating. If you are interested — and I hope you are — please link with us and contact us when you do:

    ———————————————————————————————————————————

    Title: carbs

    Description: Dieting or just counting carbs? Do it the right way. Don’t follow those fancy-shmancy diets that leave you eating styrofoam for dinner. Learn how to eat healthy and count carbs at the same time without jeopardizing taste and quality.

    HTML:

    carbs – Dieting or just counting carbs? Do it the right way. Don’t follow those fancy-shmancy diets that leave you eating styrofoam for dinner. Learn how to eat healthy and count carbs at the same time without jeopardizing taste and quality.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————

    Title: low carb food

    Description: Want a healthy way to eat without sacrificing taste? Low Carb Food can help you do just that. Learn to eat well in style and with good taste.

    HTML:

    low carb food – Want a healthy way to eat without sacrificing taste? Low Carb Food can help you do just that. Learn to eat well in style and with good taste.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————

    Title: low carb food

    Description: Low carb food does not mean food that does not taste good. Learn how to eat well without sacrificing good taste. Learn some recipes today.

    HTML:

    low carb food – Low carb food does not mean food that does not taste good. Learn how to eat well without sacrificing good taste. Learn some recipes today.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————

    I look forward to hearing from you soon,

    Hansen Sinclair

    Feratech

  • polly

    u all chat poo carbs put weight on full stop.

  • http://listline.org/ Spanser

    Great collection of posts and thanks for recognizing the ethics issue. We are starting the discussion on what, if any, standards should be developed. Please weigh in.