Friday, January 20, 2012


I’m Hattie Collier and I’m about to give up watching television.  I thought I was ready to give up on all the nit-pickin’ and kindergarten nonsense of the government—both local and national.  If it’s not that then it’s some story about some celebrity that I don’t know about, don’t care about, and don’t want to hear about.  This person had a baby that person’s gets divorced; now this week it was all about Paula Deen.

 In case you haven’t heard, a lot of people are in an uproar over Paula Deen announcing that she has Type 2 diabetes.   I’ve heard this lady’s name from time to time, but I really wouldn’t know her from a talking donut.  Turns out she is a well-known chef and has a show on cable’s Food Network.   Now I don’t cook that much and I sure don’t watch cooking shows, so I’ve only seen her once or twice.   Turns out Deen has been cooking professionally for about 20 years and has built quite a fan base and an empire along with it. 

The problem is that Deen has been promoting her cooking recipes and they are loaded with butter, sugar and salt.. She describes it as “Southern” cooking.  Though some deny it, to most people, southern cooking means lots of fried foods, lots of sugar and lots of salt—exactly  what she delivers; and the more butter the better.

So far, no crime has been committed, right? I mean, no one’s ever been jailed for having diabetes or shot for cooking with butter; but many of Deen’s fans, fellow chefs, and other diabetes victims are crying foul.  They say Deen is a hypocrite for hiding her condition for three years.    Recently, she fessed up to having the disease on the CBS Today Show, but at the same time she made that announcement, she sweetly added that she has been working with Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company as well (although she didn’t volunteer that she was a paid spokesperson).  Now people are speculating that she kept on dishing out her fattening recipes until it was profitable to tell about her condition.

The woman makes money from cooking shows, restaurants, book deals and public appearances.  She’s a cook, not a fool.  Of course she wants to protect her income and pointing out that the same food you glorify can give you diabetes—and that you’re living proof of that fact—can be a money killer.

So now she sings a different tune, sort of.  She says that you can eat her cooking, but in “moderation”.  Check with your doctor, she says.  She also says that she’s not going to stop the way she cooks, but advises that folks don’t have to eat it every day.  In addition, she’s going to be working with the drug company to offer advice on dieting and controlling diabetes.  She won’t stop the way she cooks or eats but she is “cutting out the sweet tea.”  Say what? 

Well Paula, here’s some advice that I would like to give to you. I say keep dancing on both sides of the fence.  That makes you no different from fast food joints, calorie laden vending machines or gourmet restaurants that cleverly hide the fat and sodium content of their food.  Someday people will learn that they are responsible for their own actions and if they trust their health to the advice of a cook rather than a doctor or dietitian, they will pay the consequences.

For years the medical profession has been shouting about cutting fat and salt intake, exercising, and eating smaller portions. I say if that piece of chicken drowning in a ton of grease is calling your name, don’t listen to the doctors listen to Paula go for it.

As Paula told Oprah, “I’m your cook not your doctor.”  Now muse on that.

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