Paula Deen

Interesting article here in the Huffington Post about Paula Deen:

As you’ve probably heard, Paula Deen recently admitted that she has been diabetic for three years. Her announcement came at the same time that she became a paid spokesperson for a diabetes medication. Since that time, crap has been raining down upon her.

I disagree with most of the criticisms being leveled against her.

First, I couldn’t care less that she waited three years to “admit” to the world that she has diabetes. Celebrity or not, chef or not, it’s none of our business. Can anyone look at her and at the food she cooks and be SURPRISED that she’s diabetic?

Second, I don’t happen to personally like diabetes management drugs and won’t take one myself, but I don’t begrudge her for either taking one or becoming a spokesperson. LOTS of people take similar drugs — Metformin, anyone? — and believe, in their hearts, that they HAVE to take the drug to avoid (or slow) the progression of the disease. Since the media isn’t coming down on them, I guess it’s just that she dares to make a living as a celebrity by being a paid spokesperson for a product she believes in. Well, get over it. That’s neither a crime nor a moral failing.

Third, Paula Deen’s food isn’t healthy and has never been healthy, and no one, including Paula Deen has ever claimed it to be so. Is there ANYONE out there who thinks her concoctions are health food?

Paula filled a niche. She is personable and fun, and she makes food that some people enjoy. This is not a crime. She has ZERO responsibility to provide only healthy products or to coach people on how to eat well. Her job is to provide recipes of the type that her audience WANTS, and she does that well.

The article claims that in “real home cooking,” the chefs would make everything from scratch — that Paula Deen’s failure is in using processed food. Um, I’m from the South, and I can assure you that even my grandmother stopped making most things from scratch except for special occasions by, oh, 1975. Get real.

Fourth, Paula Deen bears no responsibility for anyone’s health except her own. Period. She does not need to change her style and offer healthy, non-diabetic recipes. There are other chefs who do that. Her only responsibility is to herself and the people who pay her — people who want the unhealthy stuff because that is what people are BUYING.

Fifth, just because Paula Deen promotes a certain style of cooking and certain recipes doesn’t mean she eats that way all the time. Get serious, people. If she ate like that all the time she would be 500 pounds.

Sixth and finally, Paula Deen is not an authority figure. She is not a role model. Children are not looking up to her and thinking, “If I make all these recipes, I can be just like her!” She’s a celebrity chef who provides a product that people want. She didn’t MAKE them want it, and she is not responsible for their eating habits in any way.

She does not need to educate people on healthy cooking or eating. They need to do that themselves. If people think that eating a breakfast sandwich between two donuts is healthy, then, well, they have bigger problems than Paula Deen.

I like Paula Deen. I’d love to meet and chat with her. I’d love to spend an afternoon in the kitchen with her (on my cheat day, of course). I hope she discovers Paleo and makes a huge turnaround in her health. But I also hope that she sticks with her current brand unless she herself wants to change.

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4 Responses to Paula Deen

  1. Kalisa Jenne-Fraser says:

    Yeah, I was shocked Paula had diabetes like I was shocked when the Marlboro Man got cancer. 😉

    And you are completely right, of course. TV personality or not, your health is PERSONAL and Paula had no responsibility to “admit” she had diabetes than anyone else has to “admit” they have any health problem. It smacks to me of the AIDS outings that occurred (and still occur). At what point did ANY of this become our (the public’s) business?? Oh, that’s right… it didn’t.

    • Melissa says:

      Someone said to me that the problem they had was that she was saying that drugs are the way to deal with diabetes, not through a healthy diet. Again, she has no responsibility to publicly do that. She is being paid to promote certain recipes and a certain drug. To come out against either could violate contracts or harm her career. She avoids answering questions about how she is eating/managing her health. She may well have made major changes behind the scenes, but still needs medication. Let me tell you: if you follow the American Diabetes Association diet, you will NOT get off (or avoid) medication.

  2. Jarod says:

    Yeah, I really thought a lot of the criticisms of PD were unfair. She isn’t a representative of the FDA, she’s a TV personality.

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