Like many, I was a bit outraged at this clip of Paula Deen on The Today Show as she admitted to having Type II Diabetes (for the past 3 years!!!).
Now, it’s no surprise that she has Type II Diabetes, which is largely caused by diet, but here’s why she makes me mad:
1) Type II diabetes is a disease that can be REVERSIBLE with diet. However, she’s taking a stick-her-fingers-in-her-ears “lalala I’m not listening” approach to her disease. But, we’re not idiots, we knew her cooking was bad for us. It’s not like she was keeping a big secret that mass quantities of butter is bad for your health. It’s just her complete lack of wanting to heal herself and be a role model that is infuriating.
Even her son was trying to send her a message on his new cooking show, by trying to make her recipes healthier. Her kids don’t want her to die, but she’s sending them a big FU.
2) She had this disease for THREE YEARS, and didn’t choose to come forward until she had a payday lined up – writer Chuck Wendig says it best in a recent blog post:
“No, instead you waited to tell people until –
Wait for it.
Waaaait for it.
– until you replaced any potential lost income with a fucking Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical deal. Essentially saying, “Hey, my lifestyle actively causes diabetes, but I didn’t want to tell any of you that while you were still paying me to tell you to eat human infants rolled in Cocoa Puffs and sausage fat, and now by waiting three years and announcing a deal with Big Pharma I’m basically telling you that you can live how you want and eat what you want and by god it’s not going to impact the way any of us do anything because Thank the Baby Jesus for mah diabeedus medication!”
Look, my mom has Type II and takes handfuls of medication everyday. She saw Forks Over Knives and it opened her eyes that she doesn’t have to live this way. She can REVERSE her disease with a healthy diet. And you know what, she’s gone vegan since then.
3) Paula Deen bastardizes Southern cooking. Sure, we love our fried chicken in the south. But there is so much more to Southern Cuisine than Krispy Kreme Hamburgers.
Hugh Acheson said it best on a recent Eatocracy post:
“Southern food is a celebration of the people within the community, using the agrarian bounty that is constantly around them. It pays homage to the past but is a constantly evolving, ebbing with the seasons and flowing with the constant progression of the South. It is a foodways that really has had a much stronger emphasis on vegetables and sides than huge portions of proteins, and one that is healthy if we show off the diversity of our crops and cooking styles.”
Is Paula going to change? No. Will she decide to become this great role model? No. She wants to live out her days putting “pie in her pie-hole.”
I just hope that she’s an example to many Americans on how NOT to handle their Type II diagnosis.