Thursday, January 19, 2012
Paula Deen...Who Cares?
There seems to be a lot of fuss about how she's had diabetes for a couple of years without saying anything. Now she's been hired as a spokesperson for a pharmaceutical company and is suddenly going to be role model for people with diabetes who need to change their lifestyle. People are criticizing the fact that she has made her brand based on Southern home-cooking with lots of real butter and real sugar and all sorts of other fattening ingredients.
I must admit that I don't think much of her not saying something sooner. I'm also not real impressed by endorsing drugs for a pharmaceutical company. But I must admit that I am feeling a bit defensive about the criticism about using "real" food ingredients in her cooking. I happen to agree that real butter, real cream, full-fat cheeses and real sugar have their place in a healthy diet.
I am very suspicious of foods that are made of chemicals and are artificially created. Margarine is one of those foods for me. It is made of refined vegetable oil. Foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners are also suspect. I believe sugar is healthier and there's research to back that up. As far as full-fat (rather than non-fat or reduced fat) foods, especially dairy products, I think they just taste and cook better and are much more satisfying. I can use and be satisfied with a dollop of real sour cream or butter.
I do occasionally eat or drink things that contain artificial ingredients. My kids love squeeze cheese and I usually buy it when we go camping or on a special trip as a snack. I don't consider squeeze cheese to be real food, but I eat it a couple of times a year. I used to drink diet soda, but I quit because the carbonation bothered me. I will now occasionally drink iced green tea sweetened with Splenda.
So the question is, should we criticize someone with diabetes for doing a cooking show where these natural ingredients are used? Can't diabetics eat a healthy diet of all foods in moderation like the rest of us are supposed to be doing? I think they can!
So say what you want about Paul Deen, but don't criticize her for cooking with butter instead of artificially created and modified chemicals disguised as "food".