(Side note: the reason I don't worry about all the fatty foods I eat giving me a heart attack? I'm expecting and hoping they will. See, they have found that Alzheimer's Disease is actually a form of diabetes and having diabetes run in your family increases your risk of getting it. Something's going to take me out, and my options are for my mind to wither away for years, possibly decades, or have my heart scream, "Fuck you! I quit!" and seize up on me, fast and over. Basically, I'm picking my poison. What can I say? I'm a pragmatist.)
Needless to say, when I see Paula Deen on the food porn network (Food Network), I just shake my head. There is no way in the world she isn't diabetic when her stock in trade includes a quiche that uses a full pound of bacon (Christ, I can feel my arteries hardening already) and a deep-fried cheesecake covered with chocolate and powdered sugar (I wonder if she ever tried to make Eric Cartman's powdered doughnut pancake surprise). And as far as industry gossip goes, it seems to be one of the worst kept secrets out there.
Well, today, Deen has come out about it. She's been diabetic for the last three years.
Now, this isn't a problem. If you are careful and do things in moderation, you can be diabetic and still enjoy rich good food, that kind that makes you glad to be alive.
The problem is what accompanies the news article. Deen has a new endorsement deal. Besides deals with Smithfield ham and Philadelphia Cream Cheese, she is contributing recipes to Novo Nordisk's web site Diabetes In A New Light. Novo Nordisk makes Victoza, a once a day non-insulin injection that racked up $734 mil in sales in the first nine months of 2011 alone. Oh, did I mention Deen is taking Victoza? Hmm...interesting....
People change through the years. Drew Carey used to joke about being proud of being fat, and Weird Al Yankovic once sang in "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead," "Don't want no part of that vegetarian scene." Carey has since lost weight and maintains it, and Weird Al is a vegetarian now. And I don't begrudge that. Hell, I may change my mind at some point and decide I'd rather take my chances dodging the Alzheimer's bullet.
But that's beside the point. The point is Deen talks about moderation while not only not mentioning risks or alternatives on her show (Ted Allen, in an effort to help a couple, showed them how to make brownies using apple sauce to reduce the calories by over half and drop the cholesterol through the floor) and contributing to a web site that smells like a conflict of interest. You should pardon the expression, she's trying to have her cake and eat it, too.
Which is it? People have doubted your act for a long time. You can be who you want. Just be honest about it, will ya?