Seeing how opinions are like bellybuttons (everybody has one), I thought I’d weigh in on this incredibly debated topic.
You may be surprised by my take on this personal situation that Paula Deen made public.
Type 2 Diabetes is a disease of nearly epidemic proportions in our society. With the way we’ve grown up and now raise our children to super-size, clean our plates, eat “conveniently”, and eat diet foods, Type 2 Diabetes started to run rampant in our culture. Obesity, lack of exercise, and the endless fast-pace we live results in Type 2 Diabetes more often than not. Doctors warn us, the First Lady of the United States tries to educate us, and still we as a people are missing the message completely.
Now celebrity chef Paula Deen announces she is afflicted with Type 2 Diabetes and the uppity, overly opinionated, and self-righteous bloggers, media, and know-it-alls of the world are condemning her for not coming forth sooner. They lambast her for sacrificing her viewers’ health for her own gain. Because Paula Deen’s recipes use ingredients such as butter, sugar, bacon, and cheese, we are all victims of her deadly lifestyle. Horse Hockey! Paula Deen is no more responsible for my health than you are!
The recipes Paula Deen touts are the ones she was passed down from earlier generations; her grandparents’ day when the only available foodstuffs were natural ingredients like heavy cream, butter, and sugar. Paula Deen revels in the comfort of those foods, the awesome taste, and the presentation, but she never forces anyone to eat them. She also has mentioned the need for moderation and usually cooks under the pretense of hosting a party, a dinner, or some other form of entertaining. She never baked a cake and instructed anyone to eat the entire blooming thing alone! Paula Deen was marketed as a Southern mother with traditional Southern recipes passed down through the generations. She embodied a lifestyle that appealed to the masses and had millions of viewers tune in weekly (daily) to see what she was whipping up in her kitchen.
Type 2 Diabetes happens to have many factors that can trigger it. Certainly being overweight, carrying fat in the belly/abdomen, and being sedentary are all risky and can lead directly to the disease, but there are other things that can contribute. Having a relative (parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle/aunt) who has/had diabetes puts one at risk. For women, having babies weighing over 9 or 10 pounds puts you at risk. Also, having gestational diabetes puts you one step closer to Type 2 Diabetes. Overweight or obese people are not the only ones suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, but certainly they are the growing demographic contracting the disease.
It bothers me not that Paula Deen has known about her condition for several years and chose not to divulge the information until now. She has every right to have a private personal life. I’ve watched her show for many years, enjoyed her thick Southern drawl, family anecdotes, and watching her prepare sinfully delicious-looking recipes. I have not, however, over the years, prepared one recipe of hers. It wasn’t a conscious decision because of the fat-laden high caloric offerings, but merely my way. I enjoy watching many programs on the Food Network and other cooking shows, but rarely if ever try the recipe being hawked. I glean cooking methods, food mixes, and preparation styles, but am hardly ever motivated to copy a recipe verbatim. So, as a viewer, it is not disturbing, troublesome, or morally and ethically wrong for Paula Deen to continue to do her job that people adore and she is paid handsomely because in her private life she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. And, for those who disagree, I ask what right is it of yours to cast stones? No one forces an overweight person to eat poorly. No one traps an obese person to his/her couch and makes them watch the Food Network. It is not Paula Deen’s fault if her viewers wind up with Type 2 Diabetes; each person must take onus and make peace with their lot in life and their responsibility for it.
I hope Paula Deen continues to present herself and her recipes in much the same way. If she wants to incorporate some healthier alternatives she’s learned to prepare, I’ll watch that, too. But she is not responsible for anybody except herself when it comes to Type 2 Diabetes. Paula Deen is an entertainer, nothing else. It is nonsense to think any wrong doing was perpetrated on the viewing population. Whereas I wish Paula Deen well, I don’t judge her life based on the twenty-two minute episodes she was commissioned to create week after week and year after year.
We as a society need to stop blaming others for what is wrong in our own lives. Casting blame and finding scapegoats has become a national pastime and that time must end for the better of our society. Paula Deen is doing fine, thank you very much, and her audiences will have to continue to think and act for themselves. If you can learn a lesson from her diagnosis, that’s great, but don’t sit back and blame Paula Deen’s coconut cake on your Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis; you and your doctor will have to find a better reasoning for the affliction. Meanwhile, I’m off to go watch some Paula Deen, I like the way she cooks!
Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, blogger, and creator of the widely successful Chief 187™ Chatter. Her work has been featured on the Indie Republic Network. In addition to NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recaps and Friday Music Blogs, Chief 187™ has posted many articles based on interviews with musicians and MMA fighters. To follow Chief 187™ on Twitter follow @Chief187s. To purchase Chief 187™ gear visit http://cafepress.com/Chief187. To find all of the places Chief 187™’s works are featured visit http://Chief187.com.
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