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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paula Deen...Who Cares?

I'm sure there have been many posts written about Paula Deen's big diabetes news.  I haven't had much of a chance to read blogs so I don't know for sure, but a radio show I listen to had a whole segment devoted to talking about it.  My initial thought was that I didn't really care.  I've never watched a Paula Deen show and I really don't know much about her.  But the radio show made some interesting points so it has been on my mind.

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".              

13 comments:

Samantha said...

For me, it's not the fact that she uses real butter/sugar etc.. it's how much! I watched one of her shows and she typically will do a whole meal, appetizer/dish/dessert.. and everything had sugar/butter/lard in it. It just seemed like a lot to me. (other than that I totally agree with you that a bit of natural is a lot better than artificial lab stuff)

MandaPanda said...

I agree I much rather eat "real" food than stuff loaded up with chemicals and artificial sweeteners. Honestly, I don't think she had a responsibility to tell anyone about her diabetes until she felt ready to do so. It does bug me that the only reason she's decided to come forward now is because big pharma is paying her to do so.

RockBand Barbie said...

I love Paula Deen, always have, always will. It doesn't bother me one bit that she chose not tell people she had diabetes for 3 years...that's her business. She is promoting the drug because she's getting paid for it...for the right price I would most likely do the same thing.

Lyla said...

I'm a little surprised by the former-fatties who are pouncing on Paula. My attitude is this: her health is her business, and her shows are for adults who KNOW that eating some of the rich foods she makes 24/7 is not healthy. The only difference between me and Paula is that she found a way to make her love of rich Southern-inspired food a big business money maker and I only found a way for the food to make me fat. I wish her the best in controlling her diabetes.

She knows how to bring in the dough, I'll say that for her.

Norma said...

Watch an episode -- ANY episode of her show and see for yourself. There is no such thing as moderation in the way she "cooks" -- which is to batter anything she can get her hands on, deep fry it and then drown it in butter. She has no concept of proper portion sizes and the things she prepares (I saw her make deep fried cheesecake that she then coated in chocolate sauce and a mountain of powdered sugar), while they are made of "whole food" and "real" ingredients are certainly far from whole or healthy once she finishes with them. She espouses her style as "everyday cooking for busy families" -- and professes herself to be this down-home, folksy bumpkin whilst she promotes her brand. She demonstrates utter disregard for anything but over-the-top, unnecessary indulgence. And during the three years since she was apparently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, she continued to smoke, drink gallons of liquid sugar ("sweet tea") daily, perpetuate her silly persona and insanely bad recipes...while waiting for the "right moment" (i.e., endorsement opportunity) to reveal her disease to her fans. She is repugnant.

Lisa said...

I could care less. Southern Food is Southern food and if you don't want to eat that kind of stuff, then don't. I have no idea why anyone cares what she does. There are health food people all over the world that also drink, or use drugs, or God forbid chect on their "diets" and the only difference is we don't know about it.

Cassie said...

I agree that natural is far better than artificial. I agree I think it is a shame that the power of money has made her come forward about her diabetes and a drug to fix it. Pills don't fix the problem. Prevention is always better. :)

Marie said...

I personally think your health is your own business and no one else. I also would rather eat butter but in moderation than than a fake alternative.

Also thank you for your comments on my blog. I will definitely check out a doctor locally and see what kind of deal I can get. I didn't realize you could work some of these things out if you were self pay but it certainly makes sense because fill adjustments are difficult sometimes! I'll let you know how it goes~!

Ronnie said...

I'm with you. I don't give an ish how she cooks, she ain't in my kitchen. That being said, she is a little bit of a hypocrite. =P

Rain Howard said...

I have often wondered how a product made from sugar is supposedly better for me than sugar. Can't figure that one out. The added chemicals are extra tasty? Just ignore the cancer you may or may not get from eating them.

Ms. Dean is an adult. She's no worse than Oprah. The bad information that Oprah has passed to her fans to make a buck.... If you don't like her don't watch her.

Lonicera said...

I'd never heard of her till your post, so I watched a bit of You Tube to catch up.

The only think that can be said in her favour is that one would not expect people to use her recipes in everyday cooking - they're for special occasions, and the high calories involved are very evident.

I do however question the good taste of publicising lasagna sandwiches or deep fried cheesecake and turkey, which I think show her to be painfully out of tune with modern eating trends.

She doesn't come across as a heroine of diabetic sufferers, much less a spokesperson, and I can't for the life of me imagine why that pharmaceutical company employed someone who is surely laughed at by a significant percentage of the population and who quite clearly isn't going to become slim to help her diabetes (may she prove me wrong). In continuing with her present cooking style I think she will wreck her career - let's see.

Thee cheers for free enterprise and making money where you can get it, but would you really not care if at the same time it presented you as an embarrassing has-been doing a u-turn for money?

Caroline

Stephanie said...

As rational thinking adults we have the intelligence to realize that her cooking is not healthy and something we should be doing everyday, that being said, I am pretty indifferent on her. She is an adult and can do whatever she wants, but it is a bit hyproctitical to be pitiching diabetes medicine while still cooking unhealthy foods. Still, we as individuals make our own choices, so if she wants to eat like she does, have at it.

Stephanie said...

Oh and even after losing 100+ plus pounds, I still cook with real butter, use sugar & 1/2 and half in my coffee. I did cut out sweet tea as it is empty calories, but in moderation, "real foods" are still ok...