For people in the foodie world, the news is out about Paula Dean, the queen of fried and southern comfort food.
The News: Dean has type 2 Diabetes…and she had been hiding it for three years, while selling her brand of high calorie, fried, EVERYDAY FOOD.
She announce a big money drug endorsement deal to boot and has her son playing a little cover with his new show “Not My Mama Meals,” which is supposed to feature healthier food.
Of Mouselike Bites and Marathons, by Frank Bruni, NYT
What’s more, she [Dean] had waited three long, greasy years since her diagnosis to come out. During that period, she promoted the deep-fried life without acknowledging her firsthand experience of how a person can be burned by it.
That’s a profound, unsettling act of withholding. But it’s mirrored by many smaller, less calculated, more innocent ones in the world of food celebrities and food celebrators, including those of us who have written orgiastic accounts of sumptuous dinners. Deen’s revelation jolted me in part because people in the business of peddling gastronomic bliss rarely draw such a bold connection between indulgence and its possible wages.
So are the food celebrities the food gluttons that we tend to believe they are or are they good at hiding it like a skilled under cover cop on a drug beat?
The issue I have with Dean, having never made any of her food and found her recipes and show more of an outrageous food laugh line than cuisine, is her lack of damage control.
She should have fessed up after her diagnosis.
But the larger issue is that the whole industry of food TV/publishing/Media.
People are cooking less and these food writers are running marathons and going on juice fast to have made-for-TV bodies that do not come from the food and indulgent lifestyle they promote.
We can point to Dean, but it did not start with her.
But what gets me about Dean is that she promoted her food as everyday, not special occasion fare.
Maybe more food celebrities should out themselves about how they eat and then maybe we can have a food media that reflects a lifestyle that will not promote obesity and Diabetes.