I know the world was shocked to hear Paula Deen's announcement on The Today Show that she has Type II diabetes. Not. If you haven't seen the interview, check it out.
This story has me shaking my head. Here's my biggest beef: Deen says that she waited to tell the world because she "wanted to bring something to the table when she came forward." She cooks 3 fat and sugar-laden meals in 30 minutes AS HER JOB. Why did it take her three years to announce this? And who told her that was a good idea?
Perhaps we can find the answers over on the Food Network, which has already missed its chance to come out and say that they support Paula as she works to raise awareness for the disease and adapts her lifestyle but they had NOOOO idea that she was appearing on their network for three years (yes, THREE YEARS!) scarfing down food that was literally killing her and not telling people to eat this stuff in moderation. Like once every five-years kind of moderation. It's almost like she was a spokesperson FOR Type II Diabetes. But I digress.
I wouldn't call myself a foodie, but I enjoy cooking and certainly have learned a lot of tips, techniques and recipes from the Food Network. Suffering from a recent bout with the stomach flu I spent a good two days in bed, and aside from writhing around in pain and sleeping A LOT, I watched some TV. And guess what The Food Network is advertising? A new show on the Cooking Channel called Not My Mama's Meals starring - Bobby Deen. Yes. That Bobby Deen.
Here's a description from the Food Network website: Bobby Deen begins his culinary quest to lighten up his mom's meals starting with just desserts. He is tackling two of Paula's most famous dishes - Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding and Chocolate Mousse Pie. Bobby's whipping up a Fresh Fruit Bread Pudding and Frozen Chocolate Pie. He's cutting the fat and calories in these decadent desserts but keeping all of the flavor.
Hmm, mayhaps THIS is what Deen was working to put on the table. Ya think?
And also, clearly, she was working to establish her brand as much as possible to build up her bank of supporters/die-hards/fan girls so that when she did announce that she had Type II Diabetes (THREE YEARS AFTER THE FACT!) she would appear as a sympathetic figure. And not a person who has mislead the entire country in to believing that what she's been cooking (and sampling at the end of each and every show) isn't dangerous.
And she's also been cooking up brand extensions beyond just Bobby (who by the way, I really like as a personality and as a son) Deen. Check out her latest blog - and follow the link to see her ideas on cooking "in a new light." And let's not even get into the endorsement she netted for Novo Nordisk, the makers of the diabetes medication she's been taking (I'm gonna guess FOR THREE YEARS!). Their website features a testimonial from a woman named Zandile who is pull-quoted as saying, "I needed to take my medicine, change my lifestyle, and change from eating junk food to healthy food." Well, Zandile, do I have some news for you! Paula's here and she's not going to let diabetes change the way she cooks. So you shouldn't either. That southern comfort food she's cooking is as harmless a hamburger with a fried egg and bacon between two doughnuts.
At least that's what Paula's told us for the past three years.