Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Paula Deen - The Queen of Mean??? I Think Not!!!!

I don't know if many of you read the recent article in U.S. News and World Report written by Mary Kate Cary, and basically attacking Paula Deen. Now, I like Paula Deen, I like her recipes, her cookbooks, and I admire her success, the lady knows how to market herself.

Apparently, she was on a radio show promoting her new cookbook, "The Deen Family Cookbook", which by the way is a fabulous cookbook. I am already dog-earring pages to try!
Now, I must admit, I am a Northern Girl, but we can cook too - we can use butter and fry with the best of them, so I relate to Paula, I have been cooking like her for years, in fact, I think I may be a tad older, so maybe, she's been cooking like me for years, lol.

The article basically intimated that Paula is responsible for all the diabetic woes in this country. The article starts off with people oohing and aahing over Paula's new recipes and they are asking people to name their favorite recipe. One man is quiet, and when they ask him why, it goes something like this:

So, after she finished and they went to a commercial, the host asked the one guy who had been quiet during the interview, "What's the matter? You didn't think those recipes sounded delicious?"

And the man said, "There are too many diabetics out there dying for me to enjoy that."

The conversation stopped cold.

There's a reason there are no nutritional analyses in Paula Deen cookbooks—it's because people would be appalled if they saw the cold, hard numbers."

Not for anything, but that is just a crock of you know what. I was in nursing for years, my husband is a doctor (and a diabetic), two of my sons are doctors, my uncles are doctors, I went to medical school, and I know people are going to be irate by my next comment, but the truth of the matter is, most of the diabetics that I have encountered (and live with) in the course of my lifetime are very non-compliant - not all diabetics before you start leaving nasty comments but most diabetics! My husband is the best example, he thinks a serving of cereal is half the box.

Why on earth would you blame Paula Deen and her cookbooks for that??? There are hundreds of diabetic cookbooks on the market, as well as cookbooks for every other dietary restriction out there. Does anyone have a gun to peoples heads to buy Paula's cookbook, or cook with butter, or add sugar? I don't think so!!!

Whenever I go to the used book stores, I always go to the Cookbook Section. You don't find too many of Paula's cookbooks there, but you find tons of Diabetic Cookbooks and Diet Cookbooks there, so what does that tell you?

Perhaps, instead of always looking for someone else to blame for our own misfortunes, we need to take responsibility for our own actions. Let me be the first to do so, when I weighed 336 pounds, no one forced food down my throat, I did it all by myself. Yes, I had a horrible gene pool of obesity, but that is probably because we are all great cooks and like to eat. Yes, I had thyroid issues, and should have been diabetic by all rights (I was just lucky here) but I will be the first to admit, it I were diabetic, I'd probably be non-compliant too! It's not easy to be on a restricted diet of any type, especially when it is for life!

However, I do take umbrage at the government trying to regulate all aspects of our life recently. I thought, I still live in the USA and it is still a free country! Now, they are regulating the sale of snack foods in schools, sodas in the cafeterias, where will it end?

I gave my kids tons of junk food growing up, and now, because it wasn't forbidden, they rarely touch the stuff, they are not dessert eaters for the most part, unlike their mother, they love to go to the you know why, because it wasn't forbidden. It's like these kids who go away to college that have never had a drink, they get drunk all the time at school, because now they can. If you take away snacks, soda, whatever, the first time a kid can have it on their own they will become obese.

If you really are worried about your kids' health or your own health, take away their TV, their I- Pods, their computer, their Wii, their video games, and make them get up off their rear ends and go outside and exercise, play baseball, run in the park - but alas, this will present a hardship to you, because you might have to get off your rear end as well, lol.

So let's leave Paula Deen alone, if you don't like her style of cooking, don't watch her show, don't buy her books, but don't criticize the woman, she's selling plenty, so someone must want them. So on April 15, don't be jealous of her success! I wish I could be paying her taxes!!

When I was marketing my cookbook, "Cooking with Love", I approached the Heart Association about listing them as one of the charities that we would donate to when someone bought a book. They asked me if the book was "Heart Healthy", I replied, "Hell no, it's people like me that keep you in business!" Each to their own...

Seriously, I am not trying to make light of health issues, just the absurdity of trying to blame anyone for your own problems. Diabetes is a familial disease, most of the patients are obese with multitudes of health problems and my heart goes out to them, let's just leave Paula Deen out of the equation.

One of the quotes in the articles says "Maybe for her next cookbook, Paula Deen could put her considerable talent and charm into convincing her fans to cook healthier dishes. She could have a huge effect on a lot of people." Don't you think Paula's fans already know that her style is not particularly healthy, but it sure does taste good. Why should she change her style? She wouldn't be Paula, Queen of the Butter Bars anymore! She wouldn't be believable!!!!! I don't think so...why should she?

There are plenty of chefs on the Food Network with healthy shows, although, their shows don't last, or air anywhere as long, or often as Paula's...does that tell you something???

And so Paula, here is one Northern Girl coming to your rescue, because after all, "Northern Girls can cook too", we even use tons of butter!

The only way that Paula may be of danger to diabetics, is if you take into account her sweet southern accent! Leave her alone, and the rest of her fans with her!

To read the entire column go to U.S. News and World Report.

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  1. Thank you Elise for addressing this article. I do agree with you.

    What is the food people crave and feel good after they eat it? It's comfort food of course. And, Paula Deen is all about comfort food.

  2. Thank you Anne, I agree. Nothing is as comforting as food, lol.

  3. Elise, when you said you were going to send a reply about the article by Mary Kate Cary, I knew I wanted to read it....! Great response!
    ...and so true... As I mentioned in my comment to MKC's article, it is all about moderation!
    My sister is a huge Paula Deen fan and I sent her a copy of the original article....I am now sending her a copy of your reply.
    You go, Northern Girl!....

  4. Thanks so much Sonia... Paula has done her share of good, she united the North and the South, lol.