Earlier this year, controversial celebrity chef Paula Deen created a bit of a stir when she revealed that after years of pushing hideously unhealthy food on the American populace, she’d developed type 2 diabetes– a disease that is heavily linked to certain lifestyle indicators, among them a diet high in any kind of bullshit than comes out of Paula Deen’s kitchen.
More to the point, Deen kept her diagnosis on the down low after years of saying the deep-fried, lard-based cuisine in which she specializes is fine “in moderation.” In fact, Deen didn’t make a peep about diabetes or the possible effects of eating that sort of thing regularly until a drug company teamed up with her… to push a newly developed diabetes drug.
Naturally, some people felt this particular behavior was somewhat unethical, and Anthony Bourdain got to sit back and be right after Deen accused him of being an elitist rich person for rejecting her corporate alliances and general shitty cooking ethos. (This was before Deen even got in bed with a company selling expensive treatments for the very largely avoidable condition eating the very food she got famous shilling, not to put too fine a point on it.)
Now, without a tacit admission that the whole progression of events was kind of a cumulative dick move, Deen has stated she doesn’t regret the somewhat unethical way everything went down- but naturally she can no longer maintain the fiction that eating deep-fried, bacon wrapped butter balls with cheese sauce is somehow compatible with living past the age of 35. Deen sniffed in a recent interview:
“I am who I am. But what I will be doing is offering up lighter versions of my recipes… I will have a broader platform now, trying to do something for everybody. But you know, I’m Southern by roots. I was taught (to cook) by my grandmother and nothing I can do would change that.”
Of her deal with Novartis, Deen is also unapologetic:
“Yes, I am being compensated. It’s the way of the world. It’s the American way. But I am taking a portion of that compensation and giving it back to the (American) Diabetes Association.”
So why did Deen wait until a big fat payday to disclose her condition? Agoraphobia, she says. Do you think people want to “hate on [Paula Deen] for coming down with something,” as she said in her interview?