Paula Deen, the queen of delicious but fattening "comfort food" dishes seen on the Food Network, has received major backlash after announcing that she has Type 2 diabetes earlier this week. Critics, including fellow cook and rival Anthony Bourdain, are calling Deen a hypocrite, especially since she has known about her illness for three years. Many people are wondering: will the "Southern belle of butter and heavy cream" change her recipes after this diagnosis?
As of right now, Paula Deen is telling the world a big, fat "no." She said on NBC's "Today" show: "I've always said, `Practice moderation, y'all.' I'll probably say that a little louder now. You can have diabetes and have a piece of cake. You cannot have diabetes and eat a whole cake.'' (This is a point she should have made clearer on her show, but you get the picture.) She said that she will continue to cook the way she always has, but her son Bobby has been promoting lower-calorie versions of his mom's recipes on his new show, "Not My Mama's Meals."
After all, Paula Deen has built her entire career on selling her recipes that it would be difficult for her to denounce them completely. Some of her recipes, however, are so beyond decadent they almost sound like a joke: Peanut Butter Chocolate Gooey Cake, deep-fried cheesecake, deep-fried lasagna, twinkie pie, and fried butter balls. She may not change the way she cooks for her show or for others, but she will undoubtedly have to change the way she eats. She has already started cutting down on the sugary sweet tea she used to drink all day.
Photo courtesy of NYDailyNews.
While Paula Deen may deserve some of the criticism coming her way, it's not as if she ever tried to tell people her recipes were healthy. To be fair, people are idiots if they ever thought that Krispy Kreme bread pudding or quiche with a pound of bacon weren't that bad for you. You can see with your own eyes the ingredients that go into her recipes on her cooking show. Will you still use Paula Deen's recipes? Do you think that if she ever came out with a book about healthier cooking, people would buy (into) it--or shun it?