Culture Food — 18 January 2012
Paula Deen Has Type 2 Diabetes: Was Anthony Bourdain Right?

“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” fans know what I mean when I say I am in a glass cage of emotion right now.

The culprit: My spiritual grandmother Paula Deen finally confirmed media rumblings that she has Type 2 Diabetes.

To be clear: I don’t actually KNOW Deen, but I adore her from afar.

Her personality is effervescent…bubbly, cheery and it practically leaps from the TV screen into my living room.

That is why, despite my full knowledge she was cooking up buttery, lard-coated, Krispy Kreme weapons of mass destruction, I wanted to hit super chef Anthony Bourdain with a skillet last year for being so nasty to her.

Post-announcement, I’m not so sure who to side with anymore.

Sweet demeanor or not, I am appalled that Deen– diagnosed with a disease that is tied to irresponsible eating– is now about to profit from her situation via a deal with Novartis.

This latest development almost puts her on par with a man who had me steaming mad when I saw the story of his tongue-in-cheek Heart Attack Grill in this ABC segment.  Not only is Arizona-based restaurant owner “Doctor John” offering patrons monstrous burgers with appropriate names like the Quadruple Bypass, he plied obese spokesmen with free food in exchange for their endorsement. One of them actually died, in part because he was morbidly obese– at the age of 29.

This hasn’t stopped the good (food) doctor from offering free meals to customers of considerable size. Heart Attack Grill was essentially like a bar catering to alcoholics…and he has even expanded to other cities.  He was the worst…or so I thought.

Now that the likeable Deen has been diagnosed, I’m not sure that she is that different from Doctor John.  Even if she is only writing recipes that could lead to obesity, she could stand to be a lot more conscientious than expressed in this interview with USA Today. She says she won’t even change how she cooks.  Huh?

Your Turn:

Do you think Deen, and others who traffic in fattening food, have any responsibility to the consumer?

Or are we all grown folk who should know better than to follow some sugar-shilling Pied Piper down the primrose path to obesity?

I look forward to this discussion.








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