Paula Deen, Anthony Bourdain, diabetes, and America

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Did you hear? Paula Deen, the leading lady of lard, has type 2 diabetes and — get this — she cooks unhealthy foods! Really? So what?

She’s not putting a gun against America’s head and forcing the country to eat. She hosts a cooking show, not a medical show. No hidden agenda, no trying to bamboozle the public. The fact is her being sick is her personal business, not ours, and if she chooses to share it with us now, as opposed to before, so be it.

Okay, so now she’s a spokesperson for a drug company, and it sort of forced her hand a bit, but isn’t endorsements the name of the game. Find a company, become the spokesperson, make lots of money. We don’t begrudge the other celebrities for riding the gravy train and I’m not about to poo-poo Paula either.

Let’s face it, many chefs cook things that aren’t classified as health food and many are certainly not health conscious. We still watch them and do we care? No.

When Sandra Lee first coined her Semi-Homemade brand, every chef and hoity-toity critic came out of the woodwork and insulted her. Maybe she’s not up there with Escoffier, but thanks to Sandra, I’ve been able to pull a quick meal out of a hat at the end of many a hard day. So have many other working moms. I say thanks a bunch to Sandra, Rachel and Paula too, as well as a host of the many other Food Network chefs who have introduced us to so many different cooking styles. I can’t, however say, thank you to Anthony Bourdain, ’cause non of his shows have given me any great insight — except to not watch his shows.

In fact, other than learning that he is a potty mouth and a snob, Anthony Bourdain hasn’t provided me with one bit of useful information.

On the other hand, I’ve tried several of Paula’s dishes, which are easy and usually quite good. Some of her selections are way over the top when it comes to fat, sugar and high calories [Editor’s note: My son watches Paula, and says “Mom, she makes ‘sometimes foods!’ ”], but in the end it’s up to me and you, America, to decide what to do with the info. I mean, how much more tofu, bean sprouts, and EVOO can we tolerate before we’re jonesin’ for a Big Mac and supersized fries?

Big deal, she made a hamburger with egg, bacon and sandwiched it between donuts. Yeah it’s a heart attack on a plate, but it is up to us to decide if we want to eat it or not?

To say that Paula is the most dangerous woman in America is just Bourdain’s attempt to spotlight his own 15 minutes of fame with a pot full of cheesy hyperbole and spiteful pie. Talk about a menu with empty calories.

Not for Nuthin, but I’ll take Paula’s down-home charm over Bourdain’s mean-spirited vitriol any day of the week in any kitchen.

Best dishes, y’all.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues for every Wednesday. She can be reached at
Posted 12:00 am, January 25, 2012
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Reader feedback

Anna from UpperE says:

Sadly people are not smart. No one needs a drug for Type 2 diabetes but the drug makers still take in 3 Billion a year from Type 2 diabetes.

Doctors are also the silent partner of the "druggies" because the give drugs rather than telling people the illness can be reversed naturally. Paula Deen has a bigger problem, the drug she is going to sell cost $ 500 dollars a month and was beaten by a $ 20 diabetes diet

Jan. 25, 2012, 10:23 am
JillfromBoston from Boston says:
You do realize that Anthony Bourdain's television shows aren't cooking shows, right? If you're looking for recipes and cooking tips from Bourdain on the Travel Channel, you're looking in the wrong place. That's why his shows are on the TRAVEL channel.

I have a Sandra Lee cookbook that's very helpful for quick, easy meals. I use Rachael Ray recipes on a regular basis because they are usually healthy, easy, and affordable. Paula Deen's food, however, pretty much sucks. She's always struck me as a big phony and this past week just proves that I was right all along.
Jan. 25, 2012, 1:58 pm
BkCin from BayRidge says:
Paula Deen is not just a chef or restaurateur, she is a huge figure in media and reaches a lot of people. As someone with so much attention, a mother and grandmother, she IS responsible for delivering appropriate messages to her audience. To not do so at all, to not give any warning about the consequences of her food is irresponsible and, therefore, does have a negative impact on our society.
Jan. 26, 2012, 12:43 pm
CastleBee from Indianapolis says:
Guess what people - everyone in the world does NOT have a responsibility to you or your kiddies. If you don't like the food Paula and others tout - then turn off the TV, put on your mother earth caps and alert your off-spring. Leave the rest of us alone and quit attempting to inflict guilt and/or become mothers of the earth. Joanna is spot on with this article.
Jan. 26, 2012, 4:14 pm
KarynM from Bensonhurst says:
Nah, I don't think Joanna hit it right this time. She usually does so and with real vigor, however, this time she "wimps out". Paula Deen seems to be in a fantasy world with a fantasy menu of what cooking used to be like - I don't even think she reminds me of a real chef or cook - she is only on a roll with one idea and redoes that to the nth.
Jan. 26, 2012, 5:31 pm
CastleBee from Indianapolis says:
Oh, yeah...she hit the mark alright. And, frankly it took guts to go against the grain and the current trend toward expecting everyone to present everyone else with a pre-approved, perfect little world. The only wimps I see are the people who can’t seem to find the remote control, the strength to change the channel, and the simple courtesy to let others make that same choice. The issue isn’t really the food – it’s about control. Except in Bourdain’s case which illustrates something more akin to irritated jealousy - not without its comic value however.
Jan. 26, 2012, 6:06 pm
Dick Walton from Flatbush says:
Tony Bourdain doesn't host a cooking show, he is behind the best travel show of all time. He is funny, analytical, interesting, and far and away more intelligent than Paula Dean, or anyone on food network.
Jan. 29, 2012, 9:23 am
Jocelyn from Brooklyn says:
Provocative opinions always get a response. The problem here is Paula Deen has based her career on "being your friend" served up with a sweet trustable drawl and teaching you . Its not crafts. She is instructing people to make things to put unto your body and your families bodies that can eventually make you ill with something like oh say diabetes. Thank you for making the point that getting sponsorships is how all these people make their money. A LOT of money. That Ms. Deen went on national television to say she wants to HELP people with diabetes with her new diabetes website is akin to helping to close the barn door after all the animals are running up a busy highway. Bad cooks who promote bad for you food is more than a small part of the problem in this country.
Jan. 30, 2012, 8:56 am
Kamy from Queens says:
Anthony Bourdain is smart and funny, has a great intelligent show that opens up the world to people and truly educates them. His honesty about the food frauds on Food Network were long in coming and much appreciated by thousands of people. That the company had to start an entire other network Cooking Channel for serious shows to get away from the crap the other channel dishes up says it all.
Jan. 30, 2012, 9:01 am
Eric Starson says:
People think diabetes is all about sugar, but the saturated fat in meat and dairy appears to be the main culprit:
Jan. 31, 2012, 11:27 am
Josey from Tampa says:
Joanna DelBuono,
Maybe you should get you coronary arteries checked. After reading this blithering nonsense of yours I left to wonder how much fat you have in your head.
Feb. 2, 2012, 12:07 am

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