Monday, December 17th, 2018

Paula Deen’s In Hot Oil

Published on January 23, 2012 by   ·   5 Comments Pin It

Say it Ain’t So, Paula: Although I follow a plant-based diet, I admit to enjoying a full range of omnivore cooking shows on the Food Network, from Giada and Bobby Flay to Cupcake Wars and Iron Chef. While I admire Paula Deen’s unapologetic Southern sass, I could never really get into her programs. To me, watching an obese woman toss two sticks of butter, along with a cup of heavy cream, white flour and sugar, into every other recipe was the equivalent of watching a strung-out junkie shoot up heroin.

But just like when you’re driving by a car crash or a fire, sometimes you can’t just look away. Deen’s extreme penchant for frying the unfryable – Deep-Fried Cheesecake, Fried Butter Balls, Fried Macaroni and Cheese – both fascinated and terrified me.

Chacun à son gout. If Deen wanted to feast on lard and simple carbs, it was certainly her business and her prerogative. After all, I’m in control of my remote and my kitchen. And let’s be real: being vegan is no guarantee of health. Like our omnivorous counterparts, herbivores can also pig out on decadent cakes, cookies, pizza, potato chips –and deep-fried Newman-Os – with similarly disastrous, albeit cholesterol-free, health results.

My issue is with Deen is not her culinary point of view, but rather her contrary point of view. Although she was diagnosed with 2 diabetes 3 years ago and has been treating it with both medication and lifestyle changes all this time, she strategically chose to make  her condition public just last week– which interestingly coincided with the launch of her sons’ new “healthier” cooking show, “Not My Mama’s Meals.” We also learned last week that Deen and her boys signed a promotional deal with the pharmaceutical company that makes the diabetes medication that Deen takes.

I find it laughable that Deen pledged on the Today Show last week, 3 years post- diagnosis, “I’m going to be there for you and help you manage every day of your life with this, because it can be done.” After promoting and profiting from the very types of foods proven to contribute to her condition for three years, she does not exactly strike me as a credible advocate. I get the feeling that Deen grossly underestimates her audience’s intelligence.

Deen has taken deep-frying to a new level. I think she has finally managed to fry herself.

Dynise Balcavage is the author of Celebrate Vegan! Life-affirming Recipes for Occasions Big and Small and Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes from Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine . She blogs at and tweets  @theurbanvegan

Image courtesy memebase

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Readers Comments (5)

  1. Debbie says:

    Oh, I don’t know. Read the comments on her facebook page from her audience. I don’t think that she underestimates anything.

  2. Rubyathena says:

    I’m with Debbie above. There’s this culture that says ‘I’m free to do as I want and its my business what I eat’ and they do it in an ignorant way. No one’s gonna tell them different. It’s these folks that we see taking up two seats on planes, trains and automobiles. It’s these folks that people like Deen use for their enrichment. Cattle!

  3. theygetawaywithmurder says:

    I could care less about her and her disgusting following. She’s a perfect example of the gluttonous, gimme gimme mentality of our society and deserves whatever sickness she gets and so do her followers. I know that’s harsh, but so is her existence. Sorry for the rant, she just disgusts me and this is just the icing on the cake. “Don’t change your lifestyle, take pills…” Good idea moron.

  4. Susan says:

    I am in agreement with all of you.

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