The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, July 01, 2004  

Going Against the Grain

If you’ve grown tired of your spouse, partner, friends, acquaintances, and even perfect strangers playing Count the Carbohydrates using your plate as a game board, take this notion to heart: The low-carb craze is paying off for those of us happily and healthfully living a high-carb “lifestyle.”

Although I’m not an economist and I haven’t conducted a full-scale study of the issue, it’s becoming evident the prices of high-carbohydrate foods and beverages are declining in the response to lower demand.

For example, a 12-pack of 12-ounce cans of Coca-Cola (468 grams of carbohydrates total, 3.25 grams per ounce) may be had at the nearest supermarket for $2.50, or 1.736 cents an ounce, or 0.534-cent per gram of carbohydrates, or 1.87 grams of carbohydrates per cent. When I was in college a six-pack of Coca-Cola generally retailed for about three dollars.

Prices of breakfast cereals, long a source of gouging by the food marketing industry, also are declining, or at least holding steady. Last week I bought an 18-ounce box of corn flakes, admittedly on sale, for $1.50. And brand-name pasta is sitting on the shelves at 75 cents a pound.

Meanwhile, growers and processors report demand for orange juice is falling sharply as the low-carb crowd spurns the health benefits of a beverage that boasts as many carbohydrates per ounce as Coca-Cola. (Who knew?) In Philadelphia one can readily find 64-ounce cartons of premium orange or grapefruit juice for as little as two dollars.

Thanks, and keep it up, people. Soon my budget will be in synch with my appetite.

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