Commentary

Let’s go to the pharm, ya’ll!

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By Rachel Birdsell
TFW Contributing Writer

(AP Photo/Carlo Allegri): Paula Deen, American cook and TV personality, recently announced that she has type 2 Diabetes.

I don’t like Paula Deen. I never have and doubt I ever will. She’s loud, obnoxious, smokes, eats nasty food, and isn’t what you’d describe as classy. This is the woman who licked a chocolate fountain at a swanky party, after all. Then to top it off, she’s fake. Her skin is the color of orange sherbet, and she constantly has to shoo small planes away from her face at night because they keep mistaking her blindingly white teeth for a landing strip. Then, as if she’s ashamed of her orange skin, she slathers on a few inches of makeup to hide it. And the accent! Dear god. That sugary sweet, over-the-top accent grates at every nerve in my body. She hasn’t always been like this, either. I watched a video from 2007 and was totally surprised that she actually seemed likable. She was much more subdued and didn’t look like she was trying out for the senior version of Toddlers & Tiaras. She also sounded like she was from Georgia, not like she was from the cartoon version of Georgia.

Earlier this month, Paula disclosed that she’s had Type 2 diabetes for three years. Three years of peddling food that is loaded with fat and sugar. Three years of stuffing her face with Twinkie® pie and bread pudding made with Krispy Kreme® donuts. I’m not making up those desserts, either. She has the recipe for both of them on her website, pauladeen.com. The pie involves layering pineapple, sugar, vanilla pudding, whipped cream and bananas over Twinkies®. And just in case the two dozen donuts in the bread pudding don’t make it sweet enough, it also has a pound of powdered sugar, a can of sweetened condensed milk, a box of raisins and two cans of fruit cocktail. You might as well just grab a straw and a bowl of sugar and start sucking. Paula has the nerve to claim that her cooking is just like grandma’s. My grandma sure as hell never made anything with Twinkies® in it, and would have slapped anyone who suggested she should.

But, Paula isn’t just thumbing her nose at diabetes with the continued abuse of her body; she’s now a spokesperson for Victoza, a diabetes medicine manufactured by Novo Nordisk. I looked up Victoza and at the top of the page is a bright yellow warning box about the drug possibly causing thyroid cancer. Wouldn’t it be healthier to control your diabetes with your diet? It would appear that the only reason Paula came out of the diabetes closet now is because of her endorsement deal with big pharm. The Paula Deen brand is greasy, sugary, fattening food, and it’s not difficult to imagine her wanting to hide her diabetes in order to keep her brand alive. But, now with a drug endorsement, she can maintain her butter empire all while getting paid for taking a diabetes drug. In her defense, Paula has stated that she is walking more and she’s cut back on her sweet tea. Well, praise Jesus and pass the fried cheesecake y’all! Paula’s done turned it around!

She should be embarrassed that she’s making millions of dollars by making such unhealthy food. Instead, she is actually proud of the fact that she makes such crappy food. I think it’s revolting that she sold out to big pharm. Her greed is obvious, and is just as nauseating as most of her recipes. That doesn’t mean I’m glad she has diabetes. But the way she’s handling it won’t garner any sympathy from me, and I have zero respect for her.

But, is Paula Deen responsible for causing people to eat fat and sugar-laden food, and contributing to our nation’s obesity rate? Is it her fault that people watch her show and want to eat the vile food she makes? I think it’s safe to say that in a world without her show, and what a magical world it would be, there would be fewer people eating bread pudding made with donuts. However, it’s ultimately our responsibility as individuals to be smart enough to not slop unwholesome food into our cakeholes. We need to take care of our bodies. Just say no to a steady diet of sugar and lard. It’s not that difficult to eat healthy food. An easy rule to follow is to ask yourself if Paula would eat it. If the answer is yes, there’s a damn good chance it’s not good for you. Bon Appétit, y’all!

Rachel Birdsell is a freelance writer, artist and semiprofessional cat wrangler. Feel free to drop her a note at rabirdsell@gmail.com.

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