paula deen’s #diabetes: no one to blame butter self…

this video is from 2011. don’t be distracted by the fact that the fox people struggle reading the teleprompter, it’s more important to note that by this time, paula deen was well into her awareness of her diabetes diagnosis.

she seems completely baffled why, based on the foods she cooks, that anthony bourdain would call her “the most dangerous person in america”. she “aw shucks” and “y’alls” and continues to spin her well-worn tale that she just cooks the way her mama and her grandma cooked. she’s just a sweet, unassuming southern gal who has no idea why anthony bourdain would have such angry things to say about her…

…well, now we know. now we know that for the past three years, she has continued to peddle her fat filled, sugar saturated, butter bonanza recipes to the public while all the while knowing that she suffers from a food based disease. now we know that she wasn’t using the time to “digest” the diagnosis (as she claimed on “the chew“), but was more than likely seeking out the most lucrative pharmaceutical deal to once again peddle to the same public that she helped to make sick.

she could have spent that time writing a new cookbook – a healthier one, based on the palates of those faithful fans. one that lightened the southern diet (more greens, less fat, less oils). instead, her son is spinning off his own career based around “not my mama’s meals” < so she knows it’s wrong, but why not keep more money in the family? mom gets the drug deal, son gets to make his own money and career on a different network…it all works out quite well for the deen family…not so well for america.

anthony bourdain is right when he tweeted: “Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”

serious eats was running a series way back in 2008 called “paula deen is trying to kill us” – an artery blocking collection of recipes including this one for ham and banana casserole:

  • Butter
  • 12 slices white bread
  • 8 large slices deli ham
  • 4 bananas, sliced on the bias
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar
  • 2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 6 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9 by 13 glass baking dish. Butter both sides of the bread and layer 6 of them into the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping them as necessary but keep them even. Layer the slices of ham on top of the bread and then the bananas, 6 more slices of bread, then the cheese, potato chips, and bacon. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour this over the casserole almost to the top. Bake for 45 minutes until brown and bubbly. Cut into squares and remove with a spatula, like lasagna

see? like a lasagna? my favorite ingredient is the unspecified amount of butter…but knowing paula deen, it’s measured in sticks and not tablespoons.

i’m all about personal responsibility. hell, my sister loves some of paula deen’s recipes. and i know for a fact that she doesn’t cook them every night. some have tried to (once again) make this discussion about class – what’s the difference between ina garten and paula deen? one is french based, the other working class. so let’s criticize the working class celebrity chef. but when you are “sending love and best dishes” with a deep fried cheesecake with added chocolate and powdered sugar and “tee hee” a vegetable (a sprig of mint), then somewhere down the line, you are responsible for your own actions:

i don’t wish illness on anyone. but paula deen had a real opportunity to educate her fans and help them change their diets and change their lives. but instead, she claims that she always preached moderation (i must have missed those episodes) and that now she will have to change her life – by cutting back on her sweet tea – because that’s what’s killing america…sweet tea.

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Filed under food, modern living

6 responses to “paula deen’s #diabetes: no one to blame butter self…

  1. Great blog! I’ve only watched Paula Dean’s cooking shows long enough to know that her recipes are beyond unhealthy. I do remember seeing her on the Oprah show and her saying: I’m your cook, not your doctor, honey. I was disgusted! To me, it showed she had NO concern about her audience’s health. With the health and health care crisis in this country we don’t need people like Dean on the air contributing to the problem. As Bill Maher said last night: I happened to flip by her show and got diabetes. I think it’s inexcusable that she waited 3 years to come out about her diabetes. Her profits are covered in butter and fat, which is just as bad as blood. I hope that the backlash from this is so great that her show goes off the air.

  2. thanks, marie! this whole story has made me so angry. viewers definitely have responsibility in what they eat and how they cook. but she missed such a HUGE opportunity to do the right thing. a day after the backlash, she claimed that she would donate an unspecified amount of money to the american diabetes association, but her own greed had already been exposed. she claimed it took her 3 years to understand the disease – i call b.s.! < butter sugar!

  3. Zor

    I agree with you that its her responsibility. But just as she’s responsible for consuming all of that unhealthy food, so are her viewers. There is too much education on TV, radio, the internet and so on for people to blame Paula Deen for what’s killing America. People need to take responsibility for themselves, don’t you think?

    I also wrote about it here:

    • hello!

      i totally agree that we all have a personal responsibility for what we put in our mouths. but i find it particularly distasteful that she has built an empire on unhealthy eating, then keeps it quiet for 3 years (that same argument of too much accessible education could apply to her and she certainly has the financial resources to learn about diabetes), and then announce it with a pharmaceutical deal AND her son’s new show…it’s too much to swallow. literally.

      celebrities who make money off their fans have an added responsibility to responsibly help those people when the sh*t hits the fan. she had a real opportunity to impact the way america eats, and sadly, she missed the gravy boat!

      i do thank you for your comment and i’ll go and i look forward to reading your post!


  4. To Zor: Deen (sorry, I spelled it wrong in my last comment) may not be completely responsible for what’s killing America, but she definitely is contributing to it and profiting nicely in the process. I agree with Joyce’s comment: Deen is a public figure and has a responsibility to her fans. I guarantee the queen of Southern cuisine changed her diet when she found out she had diabetes. But she didn’t change her recipes on her Food Network show. Truly a lack of character on her part and a bit of a fraud, in my opinion.

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