May 11, 2004
The Carbohydrate Producers of America
First of all, I just want to say how honored I am to have been named the first President of the Carbohydrate Producers of America. We may be a new organization, but we are much needed. This is clearly a difficult time for those of us in the carbohydrate business. Our stock prices have fallen. Our customers have deserted us. And our products are growing stale on supermarket shelves. Still, like you, I am proud to make carbohydrates for a living.
Whatever we do, we must find a way to stop the low carb silliness of Atkins and South Beach. If we don't fight back now, these diets will kill the carb industry. With this in mind, I have been thinking of some strategies that we can employ over the next few months.
First, we need a catchy slogan. Here are some that I have been working on:
Note: For this last one, how much would it cost to send a dinner roll to every house in America? It would be quite the coup, don't you think? (Marketing: Would Twinkies be better since they won't go stale?) (Legal: Check whether we could be sued if anyone had a heart attack because of this?) (Marketing: Actually, what are Twinkies anyway? Do they even contain carbohydrates? Please check.)
How about creating some sort of high carb diet where people eat nothing but pasta and cookies and somehow lose weight. I think this could be a real winner, especially if we can get some celebrities to go on the diet. (Marketing: Is that Jared guy from Subway available? With all the bread he was eating on the Subway Diet, he might be a good fit.) (Legal: Again, could we be sued?)
Eating a burger without a bun or ketchup is just plain weird and un-American. How can we get this message across? Let's brainstorm, people.
Let's also reach out to the nicotine companies. We might be able to learn from them. Perhaps we could create a fun cartoon character that promotes a high carb lifestyle to children. (Paul the Potato, perhaps?) As long as we get the kids hooked on carbs young, we're ahead of the game. (Legal: Should I have put this in writing just now? Please advice.)
What's the latest on our new Health Doughnut? I will need an update this week, so that we can decide whether to move ahead with this exciting initiative.
Officially, Dr. Atkins' death could not be linked to his diet. He died because he slipped on some ice and hit his head. Still, there are some reports that he was obese when he died. These reports may not necessarily be true, but let's spread them anyway. It's good for business. Also, maybe we can establish a link between low carbs and a lack of stability. (R&D: Let's run some tests this week.)
What about the moodiness factor? It's clearly documented that people get moody, irritable, and even a bit dim during the first week on the Atkins diet. Let's see if we can find some violent crimes that were committed by people when they were on Atkins. If we could link violent crime to a low carb lifestyle, I think we might be able to make some real inroads.
If all else fails, can we just lie and say our foods are low carb anyway? Would anyone check? (Legal: Let's look into this last option. It might be our only hope.)
Your suggestions are, of course, welcome. Everyone in our organization -- whether they make bread, pasta, rice, or potato chips -- must work together so that we can bring the carbohydrate back to its historically dominant place in our country's diet. Thank you for your time. I am now going to lunch to have a sandwich and a cookie. I suggest you all do the same.
©2004 Joe Lavin