As many of you may have heard by now, Paula Deen, the celebrity chef known for her Southern menu of high-fat cooking, has come forward to announce that, not only does she have Type 2 Diabetes, also known as “adult onset” diabetes, but that she is also partnering up with Novo Nordisk in a campaign to promote their diabetes drug, Victoza.
Hmmm…..where to begin?……
We could begin with the fact that Ms. Deen has kept her condition quiet for a few years. Certainly, it is a personal issue and need not be discussed publicly. That is, until it is time to collect a check from a major pharmaceutical company.
We could begin with the fact that she continued pitching her brand of cooking– high-fat and high-sugar– when her condition could have prompted her to come forward and help create a change in the way many people view their plates and indulge their palates.
We could start by saying that she is the victim here and that the diet does not necessarily cause diabetes, that there is a genetic factor that must be taken into account.
Here’s where I’ll start: yes, there is a genetic factor and it is unfortunate when people develop this illness later in life. But serving up a menu of buttermilk fried chicken is beyond irresponsible. If there are individuals, Ms. Deen included, who are genetically predisposed to type 2 diabetes, then her manner of culinary expertise is the equivalent of a loaded cross bow– may not kill ya, could kill ya but maybe not. And her response to the accusations of irresponsibility? “I always preach moderation, y’all!” As if adding her li’l southern “y’all” is just going to make it so damn cute, well, hell, let’s just drop the whole thing. We’re talking about high fat and sugar contents. Moderation is pretty tough with these substances that our brains crave. And once our taste buds become trained to seek these foods, it becomes even harder. So the idea of a great frisee salad with a side of buttermilk fried chicken is pretty amusing.
No, this irresponsible individual decided to keep right on serving up her Southern cuisine, avoiding the high road and the ability to initiate change. That is until she is given the opportunity to make some money pitching Victoza. Hey, anybody mention that FDA has warned about possible thyroid cancer in animal studies? I know, I know– the animals were probably going to get thyroid cancer anyway so a little bit of the old drug, in moderation y’all, ain’t going to do all that bad, will it?
Anthony Bourdain, another celebrity chef with no shortage of opinions, went off the deep end about Deen. “I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it’s okay to eat food that is killing us,” he told TV Guide in an interview, calling her “the worst, most dangerous person to America.” I love Anthony Bourdain. But it’s a bit much. I don’t think she is the worst. In an age of ponzi schemes, it seems like she has stumbled onto a culinary cash cow– selling the poison and the cure.
But what do you think? Time for a poll…..