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Feb 20, 2012

Paula Deen, I'm Really Ticked at You!

Full disclosure up front- "Big Daddy" is a Type 1 diabetic and has been for 35+ years.  Type 1 Diabetes is aka; insulin dependent, Juvenile Diabetes, or "oh, the bad one". Other celebrity Diabetics include Jay Cutler, Mary Tyler Moore, Brett what's his name that sings Every Rose Has it's Thorns. FYI, all Diabetes is bad. Doesn't matter if it's Type 1 or 2, if you've got Diabetes, it's not good and you need to take care of it. And you need an Endocrinologist to help you, not your regular Dr. or your Ob/gyn. If you need any information regarding Diabetes, don't ask me, go here: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or here: I'm not a Doctor or a Nurse or a Health Care Professional of any kind. So don't listen to me. Educate yourself.

Diabetes is known as "the silent killer" because when a diabetic dies, they never die of Diabetes. They die from the effects of diabetes - kidney failure, heart disease, heart attack. Fun stuff like that.  So the actual "Deaths by Diabetes" go horribly under accounted for.

First off, let me say that I like Paula Deen's show. I have no problem with the amount of butter she cooks with because I know that her "deeshes"  are once in a while meals, not everyday fare. (For my every day fare, please see Rachel Ray or Kraft Mac n Cheese. Big Daddy makes himself salads most nights) To be truthful, I never once saw Paula cook something that made me run to the library to check out one of her cook books.  Too many ingredients, too many pans, too much clean up.  I like her banter with her hunky sons and her cute as a button husband, Michael. If Santa Claus were from the South, Paula and Michael would be "Mr. an' Mrs. Claw- uz" and we'd all get "P'cawn Clustah's" in our Christmas stockings. Even if we're naughty.

Honestly, unless you are one of Paula's sons or a close family member, it's likely that Paula Deen never bought your groceries, planned your weekly menu or stuck a fork in your mouth, so back the heck up and don't blame her for contributing to obesity in America. Free Will and Self Control my brothers and sisters!

I felt sorry for Paula Deen when I first heard the rumors that she had been diagnosed with Diabetes.  Having known Big Daddy for 25+ years, I know how the disease can affect a person, and the problems that can result from not getting diagnosed quickly. I hoped for her that her diagnosis was immediate so that the effects of Diabetes wouldn't ravage her kidneys or cause numbness in her extremities, or, God forbid, blindness.

Then Paula was all over Morning TV, announcing her diagnosis, the timing of the appearances coincided with a new season of her show on the Food Network (she's on GAC at noon, too).  She didn't just announce that she had been diagnosed with Diabetes, but also that she had been hired as a paid spokesperson for a non - insulin diabetes drug by NovoNordisk! ok. hm! Yeah, 2 years at $6 million a year! Well, giddyup, sister!

I'm thinking; "Wow! How lucky is Paula Deen!? She's making a FORTUNE as a paid spokesperson for Diabetes as well as the "over 50" set. She's going to have absolute top notch care for her Diabetes, though I know she's going to have some issues to deal with - lifestyle change and all - but she actually has the opportunity to completely reinvent her show! She can do it all over again! Go back to the very first episode and remake all of her dishes in a healthier way! Rewrite her cook books!".

Then, I saw an episode of one of her sons' new show "Not My Mama's Cookin'" where the host (sorry, I don't know which of the delicious hunky twosome it is... they're interchangeable in my mind,what with their dimples, sparkly eyes and big smiles, their Rhett Butler accents and Southern Gentleman ways, not to mention that those boys cook!) anyway... give me a moment to fan myself here... the Paula's Son takes one of his Mama's recipes and remakes it into a lighter fare. Then at the end of the episode, you see the down home phone call between Mama and Son. Paula Deen takes a bite of Son's reformulated version of her cooking and fare swoons with enjoyment, assuring Son that she cain't hardly tayust the dif'runce. So darn cute!

Well, but isn't the lighter fare and healthier cooking supposed to be Paula's platform, now? I mean, millions of diabetics are going to run to their doctors and ask for Paula Deen's medicine, after all it must work for her, and just look at the way she cooks!

My opinion (which is experienced and informd) is that, if a Diabetic is going to live their Diabetic life in the lime light, and be a paid spokesperson for a disease and a drug company, you need to walk your talk (I know I hate airy fairy cliches but sometimes they have their purpose) and it suddenly became apparent that Paula doesn't plan to change a damned thing.

One's health is a private issue - assuming that you keep it private. Paula didn't ever have to tell us. It's not our business what happens with Paula off screen. Even if Paula talks about her off screen life on her show, unless you receive an engraved invitation from Paula Deen herself, the rest of it is None of Our Business.

However, Paula has chosen to go public with her Diabetes. For three years, Paula kept her health issues to herself - I applauded that at first, since (see above) it's not our business and because she had to make some big changes in her lifestyle and probably her cooking. At least that's what I thought.

Now, I wouldn't have an issue if Paula said "Ok, y'all, I got the sugar problems, so I Cain't eat most' this stuff no mo-wah, but I grew up cookin' this way, and I jus' don' wanna stop! If you're lahk me an' have some health issoos, maybe ya wannah cut back on the butter and use a little more olive oil in its stead or mebbe go online t' mah website an I'll put up a lighter version of this recipe ahwn they-uh fer yuz."
Stuff like that.

But, Paula Deen made a very public choice; to air her personal health issues (that she shares with millions of people throughout the world), to become a paid spokesperson for a major player in the Diabetes drug industry (a company so deeply entrenched in the production of Diabetes medications that one cannot choose to take one's business elsewhere), and to basically say "Yep, I'm goin' take the muh-neh 'n run!".

Paula Deen had three years to get her treatment regimine in place, to alert those around her that a drastic lifestyle change needed to be made, and to reinvent herself and her show as the outlet for the spokesperson she's being paid to be. Instead, she dropped an extra large turd into her pecan pie.

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