Jan
19

Paula Deen + Diabetes = Missed Opportunity

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Paula Deen did what every middle-aged woman who’s just been diagnosed with diabetes does: she went on the Today Show to announce that she’d still be cooking with plenty of butter, salt, and sugar. She’d just be practicing moderation.

Yeah, I’m kidding. About the Everywoman part, but not about the rest of it.

paula-deen

Photo credit: AP

To top it off, the Butter/Salt/Sugar Queen is also going to shill for Novo Nordisk, the maker of diabetes treatment medications.

There are so many things wrong with this picture, and this message, I honestly don’t know where to begin … but here goes.

After spending almost 30 years making and pushing foods that are literally gateway drugs to the insulin-dependency rehab zone, the Butter/Salt/Sugar Queen is now in the club herself. What a great chance for her to make a difference in the lives of the women she influences, and the families they prepare meals for.

But no. It’s ever so much more fun to push even more high fat/salt/sugar recipes … and the insulin to go with ‘em!

The diabetes epidemic in the US – and elsewhere in the developed world – started in the Wretched Excess ’80s, when restaurants took a page from the drive-thru playbook and started to super-size their portions. I remember the first time I noticed this, in a restaurant in the Washington DC suburbs that, among other things, served a heaping platter of cinnamon-butter rolls – huge things – as the bread basket. The portions for the entire menu were lucullan (look it up) taken to an extreme.

I fell for the con myself over the years, and have the GAS (Giant Ass Syndrome) to prove it. Luckily I’ve escaped the diabetes dx, and I work hard to make sure I keep it that way.

Humans are hard-wired to survive, like any other animal. The problem is that we’re Cro Magnons with smart phones and access to unlimited food options if we’re in a 1st-world country, and if we have any money at all. Even if we don’t have a lot of money, we can still buy all kinds of cheap food … that’s full of fat/salt/sugar, with little nutritional value at all. Sure tastes good and fills us up, though!

So if we’re surrounded by food, our reptilian hind-brains will say “Eat. It. ALL.” If it’s chock full of fat, salt, and sugar, and we eat it all, all the time, what do you think happens?

I recommend you ask Paula Deen. Who is now positioning herself as an “entertainer”, not someone that a person should pay attention to as a food expert.

I call bullshit, Paula. You’ve made a fortune inviting people to do as you do, and literally giving them step-by-step recipes for how to do exactly that. And now you’ll continue to push the fat, the salt, and the sugar out of one side of your mouth, while out of the other side you’re shilling for Novo Nordisk’s Diabetes in a New Light campaign?

Lying bullshit.

My food-porn crush Anthony Bourdain seems to agree in a conversation with Eater.com where he said, “When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you’ve been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you’ve got Type 2 diabetes… it’s in bad taste if nothing else.”

Werd, sir. Werd.

 

 

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