Get Off Paula Deen's Back - "It's Only Food" Blog at - 264692

"It's Only Food"

Get Off Paula Deen's Back 
Jan. 19, 2012 1:27 pm 
Updated: Mar. 25, 2012 12:19 am
Yes Paula Deen has type 2 diabetes, and no, she didn't reveal that she had it and kept producing show with  foods high in fat and cholesterol and sugar.
It is her disease to deal with and she has repeatedly said in the past that "she is the cook, not the cardiologist". Just because she is showing us how to make and entertain in the southern culinary style doesn't mean it is her responsibility to indemnify our lifestyles.
She has also stated that she is working out on the treadmill and keeping the mantra of "moderation" in her shows and not telling people to eat a whole cake and deep fried chicken.
She has established a brand and signature with her style of cooking which has enabled her to build a small empire-from cookware, cookbooks and TV appearances with her show, which counts for producers, cameramen, grips, writers etc.  To change what she is doing or walk away entirely woul not be good for the people she employs or the people that have jobs balancing on the periphery of her success.  Publishing companies, shipping and receiving, product development and design, R&D-all would be affected.
I think we should lighten up on her, realize she is just a cook.  We seem to take to much stock in the celebrity in our society and forget that they are just making a living too.  We need to have personal responsibility, a critical thinking mind, and some kind of common sense.
Maybe it is time to take a deep breath and remember it is just a cooking show.

Jan. 19, 2012 1:54 pm
Well said chefjohn. And Happy 65th Birthday Paula (if you're listening...LOL)
Jan. 19, 2012 2:19 pm
I agree! I am a fan of Paula Deen and Anthony Bourdain. Anyone who's watched any of his shows knows he likes stiring the pot- whether it contains food or controversy. And he's had it out for any and everyone associated with food network for years. This is just par for the course with him. If people really have a problem with what Paula Deen has or hasn't done, they can just stop watching her show or buying her products. Both people are just people. Just because they are on TV doesn't mean they have to be some sort of role model. :)
Jan. 19, 2012 3:05 pm
Like it or not, public figures/celebrities are role models and I believe carry responsibilities to the general public. It would have been nice if she had come forward before she had another money making contract in hand. To me, it appears to be all about money. I wish her the best and hope she shares healthier ways of cooking with her fans. In your list of jobs you forgot to include all of the doctors, nurses, pharmacies and hospitals that benefit from her as well. Bourdain stepped out of line. I do enjoy your blogs.
Jan. 19, 2012 3:13 pm
Thank you for reading- I do believe she has talked about cooking healthier and is moving in that direction
Jan. 19, 2012 3:20 pm
Maybe she can donate the money she is making to the diabetes foundation. The diabetes foundation by the way is not condemning her, so there is too much knee jerk reaction going on a maybe not enough esearch and fact finding. Type 2 change my way of thinking about my health, but I was in denial and also scared and it took me at least 8 months to realize that I need to get things under control and do what I have to do to control my glucose levels. I lost 65 pounds and eat healthier. I am sorry to disagree with Marie but celebrities are NOT role models, good or bad. I find no argument or wisdom to say they are. Teabow was mocked because he has faith and other athletes do drugs and are thugs and nothing is said-weird aint it. Ya gotta love moral relativism
Jan. 19, 2012 3:53 pm
chefjohn, I agree with everything you've stated. Thanks for keeping it real! You are one of my favorite AR cooks - should say Chef! Keep up the good work! God Bless!
Jan. 19, 2012 4:14 pm
My complaint with Paula Deen is not her style of cooking, no one is forced to follow her recipes, but with her becoming a PAID spokesperson for whatever diabetic medication it is. Positioned as she is, she has an excellent opportunity to use her fame to educate people and show them how to make lighter, less sugary versions of her food. So many people think the only way to treat diabetes is with medication and the truth is for some, correct diet and exercise can reverse the problem. As for Anthony Bourdain - he has attacked her before, in much the same way and IMO he simply seems boorish and rude.
Jan. 19, 2012 4:25 pm
Kinda thought this was a food blog.....I don't think her health is anyone's business, no comment on the business part, but chefjohn this is the definition of role model from Merriam-webster and I would think anyone could qualify, especially if they aren't a hermit :) : a person whose behavior in a particular role is imitated by others
Jan. 19, 2012 4:32 pm
While I think it might be a bit tacky that she's now making money off her diabetes as well as her unhealthy cooking, I don't think her having diabetes means she shouldn't be developing richer, fatty recipes and showing people how to make them. It's up to viewers/fans to know you shouldn't eat that stuff everyday (but who doesn't want it sometimes?) and just because she publicly cooks like that doesn't mean she actually eats like that. I don't think diabetes means she has to be a public role model of healthy eating. Other Food Network chefs have shows that primarily centre on desserts. That doesn't mean they advocate eating a cake every day and no one jumps all over them no matter what their personal diets or health issues may be.
Jan. 19, 2012 4:38 pm
Here... Here! Chef! As a southern cook... with all the predisposing factors of bad health... I tend to moderate in my own home, but Paula Deen's southern style does sell! To each thier own!!!!
Jan. 19, 2012 4:42 pm
Thank you for clarifying this for me Linda2d, I am stating my own personal opinion, it doesn't mean I am right ot wrong. I am merely bringing forth a subject to get some rich discussion, and to see what other people are thinking about it. And since Paula Deen works with food and is very famous for it-I would say it is a food blog- and not a blog about decorating my office.
Jan. 19, 2012 4:46 pm
As I am stating mine as well.
Jan. 19, 2012 4:49 pm
And as for Tony Bourdain, I believe he has eaten crow and apologized for his comments, You think after the Sandra lee debacle he would keep his comments to himself. I think I understand what he was trying to say though about Paula, but I am sure Les Halles never served anything with butter or heavy cream or sugar either when he was the ex. chef. :}
Jan. 19, 2012 6:47 pm
Who is Paula Deen and why is everyone else getting a piggy back and not me?
Jan. 19, 2012 11:19 pm
You said it ALL CJ! Thank you. Miss Deens health is Her business. It is like if you eat Mcy D's everyday and then complain they are making you Fat! She is not saying to eat all her food All the time. You are responsible for YOU! JMO.
Jan. 20, 2012 5:29 am
Agreed- health is her private business and I love the design of her cookware. Went to Wal-Mart to consider buying it and discovered it's MADE IN ASIA and NOT in the USA. With all the rest of the news I hadn't heard that people were calling for her to end her business- that is so silly, but I do think it's time to call on her to get her stuff manufactured here in the USA.
Jan. 20, 2012 5:43 am
Paula Deen's southern style of cooking is not unhealthy unless the consumer makes it unhealthy by using her recipes daily. I consider her recipes, as presented, to be party food; something wonderful to eat, but not as a steady diet. Let's not forget, she is a business, as any celebrity is. Her name and cooking are her assets and should not be required to abandon them because of her health issues. She has the perfect opportunity to present her cooking in a new manner- in a healthier manner- and I am willing to see if she does it. If she does not then I will still be interested in her recipes and if I cook some I will choose to preare them healthier and offset them with better foods at other meals.
Jan. 20, 2012 7:11 am
The backlash against Paula Deen is just another example of how our society lays blame everywhere but where it should be laid. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for what goes into our mouths and the consequences thereof. And Goodfood, I'm not advocating Wal-Mart or Chinese manufacturing, but if Paula Deen insisted her cookware be manufactured in the US, it would be a lot more expensive! The sad truth...
Jan. 20, 2012 7:27 am
I guess if anyone is to blame it is Escoffier the father of French cooking-everything was butter, butter, butter-I kid PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY DON"T BE SHEEP
Jan. 20, 2012 10:32 am
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, if Paula will alter some of her recipes and offer food that is a better choice for a diabetic or for anyone trying to modify their diet. I think the rub came in when she seized the opportunity to endorse a diabetes medication (if in fact this is true), I think that was very unwise of her and probably left the door open for Tony B to take a bite of her. I know he is a bad boy, but he doesn't try to cover it up with sweetness and light. He is what he is and I enjoy his candor, quite refreshing actually. I read his book 'NO reservations" and enjoyed it.
Jan. 20, 2012 12:22 pm
Ironically, I'd be quite pleased to pay significantly more (and I am not rich by any means, lol) and I categorically refuse to purchase stuff made somewhere else unless I absolutely have no choice at all. And I always have a choice. I do think that PD has a responsibility, while representing Southern American Cookin' and all that she does represent, to have what's on the surface be a reflection of how things actually are deep underneath. To me her image is Southern American, warm hospitality, tried and true recipes, Banana Pudding, Sweet Tea, Creamed Potatoes, pound cakes, Sweet potato AND Apple pies, totally Red, White, and Blue America. If she had the cookware that bears her name made in the USA then the surface of her image would reflect and match the dedication and commitment to the people of America who have supported her. But hey, that's just my own opinion... ;)
Jan. 20, 2012 12:32 pm
No Reservations is a must read for anyone wanting to get into this business. And as for the made in China, sometimes the people you hire to do these kinds of things make all the decisions-Accountants,Managers and the like because it is cheaper to make and distribute and produce. To quote Metallica-"Sad but True"
Jan. 20, 2012 12:37 pm
What did Tony say? " You don't get into the leg breaking business and then decide to sell crutches" Not a bad simile, but hey, at least he is is not disingenuous. He believes in something contrary to her. But they are all food skulls and the new Prophets, but that sheen is wearing off too-Next!!
Jan. 20, 2012 4:02 pm
Go Tony! Go Tony!
Jan. 20, 2012 5:08 pm
Paula is probably like a lot of Americans who were shocked when diagnosed with T2 diabetes and find it hard, but not impossible to change many years of diet habits. This may be her finest hour - she has the opportunity to really educate about lifestyle changes. Lots of Americans will be taking the journey with her. I wish she had come out sooner and partnered with the American Diabetes Assoc, but at least she's not out there giving unedited advice. Let's see how this plays out.
Jan. 21, 2012 10:27 am
I hear ya CJ - and AMEN!
Jan. 22, 2012 8:50 am
Thank you
Jan. 23, 2012 7:36 am
Some days I want an indulgent or rich recipe. Others I want something lean or dairy free. It depends on if it is a family meal or for an event. Don't we ALL modify/tweak recipes to suit our own needs and preferences? I don't base my health choices on any celebrity let alone make them the moral compass to what I eat.
Jan. 26, 2012 5:09 am
I like Paula and her show but research shows she only revealed the diabetes cuz she is getting big bucks to promote a diabetic product!Money talks!
Jan. 26, 2012 6:07 am
hi chefjohn - I see that covergirl up above asked if Paula was going to change any of her recipes for her condition. Well she doesn't have to, it seems the Cooking Channel has given her son a new TV show to do just that. Even he is profiting off of her diabetes now.
Jan. 26, 2012 6:10 am
Never followed Paula deen. So really have no comment on her cooking style. No matter who the celebrity is, there will always be negativity in the media. It's what sells those papers and magazines
Jan. 26, 2012 6:12 am
I don't give a flying leap what Paula Deen does. Marie C: They are not role models unless you let them be. CJ: Tebow isn't mocked because he has faith, but because he grandstands about how pious he is. It's the self-aggrandizement and the sneering pretense at superiority that others find appalling. He can be as much of a faith-head as he wants, but that has absolutely zero to do with his morality or lack thereof. A lot of those "thugs and bullies" you rail against are also practicing Christians, but nobody says that their being that makes them bad.
Jan. 26, 2012 6:58 am
I like both Paula Deen and Anthony Bourdain. First for Ms. Deen: she has never told anyone they should eat the foods from her show for every meal every day. I'm a born-and-bred southerner, and I'm quite familiar with many of her dishes having grown up eaten them. I also have a brain and ears, and I've been able to pick up on the news that this kind of diet isn't good for you. Simple enough...indulge occasionally if you want, but keep it in check otherwise. Now for Mr. Bourdain. I watch his shows, too. He eats all manner of food loaded in saturated fat (beef fat and pretty much every part of our porcine friends, for example), and he regularly mentions that he takes Lipitor and will need to double his dose. Difference between the two? I think not so much. As I said, I like both of them; they do not control what choices I make nor does any other celebrity. We are all human, and we make our own choices whether they be the right ones or not. I'm not going to keep my hand full of stones to throw. Nice blog, chefjohn!
Jan. 26, 2012 7:53 am
Paula is - at least- a show I can learn something from. Now, take Adam Richman in Man V Food .... I cant stand to watch. For "ME" the show is obnoxious, watching a guy shove as much as he can in his face. Glutinous, and annoying, to me when I know many families (and members here) who have difficulty feeding their families. I find it distasteful and I choose not to watch. My husband, on the other hand, thinks Adam is "The Man". ~sigh~ to each his --or her;) own.
Jan. 26, 2012 8:15 am
Well said! I thoroughly agree with everything you said. Especially with "We need to have personal responsibility, a critical thinking mind, and some kind of sense.".....Everything lacking in today's society!! We do ourselves, and each other, a disservice when we don't hold ourselves to these. Thank you for the post.
Jan. 26, 2012 8:30 am
Yes! Personal responsibility!!! Are we going to go after Duff Goldman and Buddy Vilastro because they make cake all the time? For crying out loud - everyone makes their own choice for what they stuff in their mouth.
Jan. 26, 2012 8:36 am
Great blog chefjohn. I always find it amazing when folks hold everyone else to a higher level of ethics or their own personal journey with health challenges. Seems like so many want to pounce on others choices or weaknesses without looking at their own short comings. We all have our issues. My husband is a "healthy" type II and to look at this thin and active man, most would never guess that he has this disease. BTW I like Anthony B (actually had dinner next to him (not with him LOL) at the Ma'alea Grill on Maui a few years ago) but I would not have liked his choices when he was a junkie. I think moderation is the key just like Paula said. I also think this must be very challenging when she has eaten and cooked her way for a lifetime. It is her career on the line and I believe that she has every right to continue on her career path. This could be a another awakening to the hazards of this disease. Thanks for posting this.
Jan. 26, 2012 8:49 am
It's fine to feel empathy for Paula Deen. But to me, she is an entertainer. And maybe a cook. But Really? Three years before she let anyone know? She just kept on cooking-and making new deals. Paula, take advantage of this scare. Why not be a perpetuator of foods that taste good AND benefit good body health. You'll be better for it and so will we!
Jan. 26, 2012 10:54 am
Being famous, you will always have lovers and haters and be under much criticism. "I'll take my sanity, you take the fame, I'm under and over it all" from a Five Finger Death Punch song.
Jan. 26, 2012 11:05 am
Kudos chefjohn, you have facilitated so many valid points! Paula Deen provides "culinary nostalgia". Anthony Bourdain gives us "worldly adventure". I can still be entertained even though I would never cook like Paula Deen, and I would never eat like Anthony Bourdain. In reality, does anyone? As for PD not "confessing" her condition in a timely manner... Would it have been more palatable if the family members grabbed her coat tails before she was diagnosed? Would we have still felt deceived if she had been promoting "Victoza" (just in case, y'all!)? I think we would find fault with her anyway. It's smart for any business to try mitigating potential losses through reorganization. I agree with you "wisweetp", that Bourdain has no business throwing stones considering the things he has "no reservations" about poking into his pie-hole ! He is hardly a moral compass. We have all seen him proudly inhaling pork, and drinking in excess with joyous abandon. Julia Child taught us to cook with butter so this must all be her fault. Giada uses a lot of heavy cream and cheese. Will we wave the finger of blame when she is busted for being lactose intolerant? I will admit that Duff taught me how to make a meal out of cupcakes, but when I need the gastric bypass I'll be sure to charge it on my "Chase Sapphire" card.. and blame Anthony Bourdain for not being more responsible about my debt.
Jan. 26, 2012 11:08 am
Bourdain smokes in every episode I've ever seen (which is a lot), last I heard that can cause cancer. Seems like he shouldn't be throwing stones. While I don't cook with 3 sticks of butter, or deep fry every meal, I also don't judge how other people choose to cook. What was the point in him saying anything? Just keep your mouth shut and worry about yourself...that's my 2 cents. :)
Jan. 26, 2012 11:10 am
By the way....I mean no offense to any smokers BF smokes. I was simply making a point. Just thought I would throw that out there before anyone said anything. :)
Jan. 26, 2012 2:29 pm
Great cpmments all-or should I say y'all. Once again I think I have the smartest commentors on the blogosphere. Chefs and cooks have been around for a long time, and none have been responsible for the health of the public-just the King if the food was bad they could find themselves on the business end of a sword, but I think the common thread here-and quite a few of my other blogs-is personal responsibility. Thanks evrybody for posting your thoughts in the marketplace of ideas.
Mar. 25, 2012 12:19 am
Paulas health is her personal business and how and if she reveals it is her choice. The public should not have any say in her time frame, or even if she said nothing at all. People need to get over themselves and worry more about their choices and consequences of their life styles rather than attacking others. Let Paula alone and either watch her show or do not.
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I have been a professional restaurant person for 30+ years. I started out as a dishwasher and worked my way up the ladder. No schooling except for hands on experience in locations around the USA. I am now starting my own business as a consultant and food writer.
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