Paula Deen, Anthony Bourdain, diabetes, and America

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Did you hear? Paula Deen, the leading lady of lard, has type 2 diabetes and — get this — she cooks unhealthy foods! Really? So what?

She’s not putting a gun against America’s head and forcing the country to eat. She hosts a cooking show, not a medical show. No hidden agenda, no trying to bamboozle the public. The fact is her being sick is her personal business, not ours, and if she chooses to share it with us now, as opposed to before, so be it.

Okay, so now she’s a spokesperson for a drug company, and it sort of forced her hand a bit, but isn’t endorsements the name of the game. Find a company, become the spokesperson, make lots of money. We don’t begrudge the other celebrities for riding the gravy train and I’m not about to poo-poo Paula either.

Let’s face it, many chefs cook things that aren’t classified as health food and many are certainly not health conscious. We still watch them and do we care? No.

When Sandra Lee first coined her Semi-Homemade brand, every chef and hoity-toity critic came out of the woodwork and insulted her. Maybe she’s not up there with Escoffier, but thanks to Sandra, I’ve been able to pull a quick meal out of a hat at the end of many a hard day. So have many other working moms. I say thanks a bunch to Sandra, Rachel and Paula too, as well as a host of the many other Food Network chefs who have introduced us to so many different cooking styles. I can’t, however say, thank you to Anthony Bourdain, ’cause non of his shows have given me any great insight — except to not watch his shows.

In fact, other than learning that he is a potty mouth and a snob, Anthony Bourdain hasn’t provided me with one bit of useful information.

On the other hand, I’ve tried several of Paula’s dishes, which are easy and usually quite good. Some of her selections are way over the top when it comes to fat, sugar and high calories [Editor’s note: My son watches Paula, and says “Mom, she makes ‘sometimes foods!’ ”], but in the end it’s up to me and you, America, to decide what to do with the info. I mean, how much more tofu, bean sprouts, and EVOO can we tolerate before we’re jonesin’ for a Big Mac and supersized fries?

Big deal, she made a hamburger with egg, bacon and sandwiched it between donuts. Yeah it’s a heart attack on a plate, but it is up to us to decide if we want to eat it or not?

To say that Paula is the most dangerous woman in America is just Bourdain’s attempt to spotlight his own 15 minutes of fame with a pot full of cheesy hyperbole and spiteful pie. Talk about a menu with empty calories.

Not for Nuthin, but I’ll take Paula’s down-home charm over Bourdain’s mean-spirited vitriol any day of the week in any kitchen.

Best dishes, y’all.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues for every Wednesday. She can be reached at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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