Ok, this is a subject I have been a bit hesitant to blog about because I wasn't quite sure what my thoughts on the subject were, till now. As I'm sure most of you have heard by now: Food Network star Paula Deen has come out to the public that she has Type 2 Diabetes. And I won't be the first to say that this is no surprise to the health food blogging community. Obviously we see the apparent cause and effect that is occurring here.
I've been hesitant to post on this because, at first, I felt bad for Paula. I've grown up enjoying cooking shows not because of what they were cooking, but because of the beautiful kitchens, the wonderful gadgets, and warm inviting personalities. Paula Deen is no exception to this pattern. Personally, I have never made any of the recipes I have seen on Food Network, and I definitely wouldn't now that I eat nutritarian. This does, however, create an issue for those that do copy her style of eating when we are living in a nation that such a huge (no pun intended) obesity and Type 2 Diabetes problem.
The issue about Paula's T2D is not that she has it, but that she has had it for nearly three years and has decided to announce it to the public only after making a deal with Novo Nordisk to promote their diabetes drug. When hearing this news, I immediately made up my mind: this is scummy and shame on her! If she's has diabetes for three years, she knows the severity of the condition when it comes to affecting your daily life and health. I'm sure she was not jumping for joy when she was diagnosed, so the next logical step for her would have been to discontinue or change the thing that created the problem in the first place: her overly indulgent, butter-fried, over-sugared, over-salted diet, AND the shows that largely broadcast that diet to the public.
I know that I enjoy every reader of my blog whether I have directly talked to them or not, and I'm sure that Paula is no exception to this feeling either. She has to love her fans that have made her so famous and loved (and rich). But, if you do love, or even respect your fans, how could you continue to advertise these terrible choices that lead to terrible health issues? Shame on her.
A whole other issue is the Food Network. As I said earlier, I spent time as a kid and teenager, and even now sometimes watching the Food Network because of the aesthetic beauty of it all. I'm envious of the kitchens and gadgets the Food Network stars get to use, and I always loved the presentation of food (something I am still learning to make better for my blog recipes). This is not only an issue down to an individual, but down to the responsibility of the Food Network. It is not right to be promoting lifestyles of eating that encourage a national problem such as Type 2 Diabetes. We need to demand better of the Food Network to provide chefs that not only have pretty kitchens, cool gadgets, and warm personalities, but that can make great tasting healthy foods. By this I am not meaning "healthier" than deep fried mac n cheese wrapped in bacon, but something that nutritarians, vegans, or plant-strong vegetarians might eat.
I found this article while looking into Paula Deen T2D news and found that I fell between two opinions. Here are the three that the article provides:
1. Moderation is the key, and home cooks need to take responsibility for what they eat.
2. Paula missed the opportunity to encourage people to eat healthier and make better choices.
3. It is irresponsible of Paula Deen to not change how she cooks on her show, and to appear in Nova Novartis ads that supply her diabetes medication.
I find that I'm somewhere between opinions 2 and 3, although I think all three are valid opinions.
Where does your opinion fall? Do you have an opinion that falls out of these three categories?