Restaurant Rant: Why I Continue to (Really) Hate Paula Deen

Chicken pot pie at Lady & Sons in 2008. One serving could feed a family of four.

In August 2008, I traveled to Savannah, Georgia where I dined at Paula Deen’s restaurant Lady & Sons. We ran a post titled “Paula Deen Wants to Kill You.” I wrote:

I can still smell the rancid butter that hit us in the face when we walked in the door. I’ve got to find the pictures I took of the food I ate–everything was dripping in butter. I remember the chicken pot pie was big enough for four and almost everything was fried. OK, she admits she’s “not your cardiologist,” but she really is contributing to the delinquency of dieters. The night we went, at least 75 per cent of the diners were beyond overweight–they were obese. It was sad–like people watching at the slots in Vegas–everyone was gambling with their lives.

Last week Paula Deen confirmed the rumor: she has Type 2 diabetes. I wonder how many of her dedicated fans also suffer from Type 2? This really chaps my sass because two members of my family didn’t have a choice: they both were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when they were young. They have to continually monitor their diet and control their blood sugar. However, Ms. Deen, and other people who put on blinders and continue to fill their body with fat and sugar, had an option. Like not eating a burger made with Krispy Kreme donuts. It’s now rumored that Deen may become the spokesperson for Novartis, a company with a drug designed to treat diabetes. If she personally profits from developing Type 2 diabetes (Hey yáll, I’m your endocrinologist!), I’m going to go berserk. I can already see the talk show circuit lighting up. It makes me sick.

81 comments on “Restaurant Rant: Why I Continue to (Really) Hate Paula Deen

  1. Pingback: Paula Deen Has Type II Diabetes, Deep Fried Hypcorite? |

  2. Jack, Exactly! I don’t understand why so many people want to blame Paula for the diabetes and obesity epidemics in this country. Hers is only one point of view and one way of cooking. Has it caused her diabetes? Probably. But I was raised on the food she cooks and figured out that it wasn’t healthy loooong before I ever heard of Paula Deen. I hear about the healthy way to eat on tv and in magazines far more often than I see Paula and her style. One person on here said that not everyone knows how to eat healthy. Was the implication that there are people who rely on Paula to tell them how to eat because she’s popular and on tv? If they are watching Paula they have access to lots of other shows that promote a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthy is all over tv, in magazines and in cookbooks. It’s not a secret. And as someone mentioned, the drug company she will be a spokesperson for will probably expect her to promote a healthier approach to food. That can certainly be an encouragement to people with type II diabetes. Personally, I have a cholesterol problem. I have it partly because I’m genetically predisposed to it and mostly because I’ve had terrible eating habits for a good chunk of my life. I take a statin drug and watch my fat and sugar intake, but I’m not rabid about it and I certainly don’t blame Paula. I put on weight a few years ago and after getting 25 pounds overweight I decided it was time to lose it before it became 50 or 100 or 200. I lost it through portion control and cutting back on empty calories and fatty/sugary foods. I watched Paula the entire time I was losing weight and never felt like she was to blame for the food choices that caused my weight gain.

    I don’t mean to imply that an obese person or diabetic can just wave a magic wand and cut out desserts and second helpings and easily lose weight. It’s hard and frustrating. It takes commitment and will power and emotional support and good nutritional information. My heart goes out to people who’s lives depend on making hard choices and fighting this battle. They need our understanding and support and should not be judged. If Paula is successful, maybe these people will see her as an inspiration.

  3. I for one have nothing against her cooking. We all eat “sin food” sometimes. My problem is with her absolute lack of integrity, seeing that she’ll endorse ANYTHING to make a buck, including Big Pharma. She’s a huckster, not a chef.

  4. Most people know that too much sugar and fat are bad for you but what they don’t know is how much is too much. One of our biggest problems is portion control.

    When someone goes to a restaurant such as Cheesecake Factory or Maggiano’s most of the general public don’t realize that the entree they are ordering is anywhere from 2-6 servings in one dish. I remember learning about the food pyramid in elementary school but no one ever taught us what a serving size is or how much sugar or fat makes a gram and how many grams are too much.

    Another thing that many adults also don’t realize is that for a woman a 2000 calorie diet is too much! Most women should only consume 1200 – 1600 calories/day (depending on height and body frame). These are all things that I had to find out from a registered dietitian at Baylor when I was trying to loose weight a few years ago (size 8 to a size 4). It’s knowing the little things that make a difference and if you don’t search out those little things, people don’t know what is best (southern cooking or not!)

  5. Paula Deen is going to accept money to flog a product? I do declare, what *is* this world coming to??? (The real ethical question is about the drug company choosing her. As if a car company picked a spokesperson with multiple DUI or a gunmaker picked someone with a record of shooting people.)

  6. Okay, I just saw Paula Deen on the news. She was diagnosed THREE YEARS AGO BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DISEASE. Now she is going to promote a drug designed to help Type 2 diabetics. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE SHE COULD HAVE HELPED OVER THE LAST THREE YEARS? INSTEAD SHE CHOSE TO KEEP ON KEEPING ON. AND CUTTING BACK ON SWEET TEA. REALLY?

  7. Pingback: Paula Deen’s Diabetes Diagnosis: How Should Diabetics Change Their Diets? – Huffington Post | Health News

  8. I can’t stand Paula Deen. She should be ashamed of herself hocking diabetes medication when her nasty fat filled cooking and diet contributed to this. Her message to the public is it ok to eat like a slob, just take a pill to make it all better! This is really disturbing. Agree with Anthony bordain.

  9. Pingback: Paula Deen’s Diabetes Diagnosis: How Should Diabetics Change Their Diets? – Huffington Post | Health News

  10. I like nothing about this woman; not her personality, not her “nails on chalkboard” hick accent, not her cooking, and most importantly not her abhorrent endorsement of Smithfield, who exploits immigrant workers, and egregiously harms animals and the environment. When I heard the announcement that she was diabetic, I was of course, not surprised. I agree with the intelligent posters, and the author. My outrage was that not only does she endorse Smithfield ham and make millions, now she will be raking it in on a pharmaceutical endorsement! Diabetes can be reversed through diet and exercise, at least adult onset can. This woman is clearly in league with Satan.

  11. I can understand your frustration about the ignorance surrounding diabetes since I’ve been married to a type-1 for 25 years. I find it appalling that every single type-2 I’ve met, doesn’t even bother to educate themselves on the condition & or how to help control it through diet & fitness . I’m glad that at least since I got MS as a teen, I’ve never had to deal with this type of ignorance, since there is no such thing as type-2 MS.

  12. I’ve been a Type 1 diabetic for 41 years and have spent every day of those 41 years trying to stay healthy so I can live a long and healthy life. I have never even watched Paula Deen because I know how she cooks – with no regard for people who eat like me. I have learned to enjoy plain food – fruits, vegetables, low fat everything. And I’m known for it – everyone I know admires my willpower. What annoys me the most is what Paula Deen says she has given up totally since she announced being diabetic….sweet tea. Big deal Paula. That is your sacrifice? Just endorse a drug for Type 2 diabetes – don’t bother changing your lifestyle and setting an example for all of your followers. Continue to eat the way you do Paula – and it won’t be long that we will see articles about your diabetes complications. Then I guess everyone will feel sorry for you. Stop promoting crappy eating habits and I will then learn to have a little respect for you.

  13. it sickens me that a drug company would pay her for her endorsement of any drug. if she really cared, she would do it for free. how much money does she need.

    not only is she fat, her husband is fat. and i have never heard of fried butter. i watched one of her shows and she used 8 sticks of butter. not only that, she is alway sticking her fingers in her food and i think food tv should reprimand her for that. i know now why anthony bourdain thinks she is sickening,

    of course i have read (i live in the nyc area where mayor mike is fighting fatty food. at first i was angry because the calories and fat and salt content are next to each item) but maybe it is a good idea. once in a while it is okay but not like the people in the south and i know, my sister lives in atlanta, she is heavy, well you cannot go to out to fancy restaurants all the time and not exercise and expect to be thin.

    so in closing, i live in nj, our governor is heavy. my husband and i are both thin, belong to a gym, eat frugally and still have coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.

    i look at paula and wonder and i did not know she smoked. well good luck to her. maybe she should donate the money from the drug company to the diabetes foundation, but she is too, too greedy

  14. Interview with Larry King – and she had an affair with a married man….why would anyone idealize someone like her? And smokes a pack and a half a day? Smoker, Type 2 diabetic, overweight….anything else Paula?
    KING: Back with the delightful Paula Deen. You’re also a smoker? Still smoke?

    DEEN: Yes, but I’m trying to quit.

    KING: OK. How much do you smoke?

    DEEN: A pack and a half.

    KING: Does it affect the taste of food?

    DEEN: You know, I don’t think so.

    KING: But you don’t know. I was a smoker. How do you know?

    DEEN: I don’t know but I say if it tastes any better I’d weigh 500 pounds.

    KING: Then you also had an affair with a married man?

    DEEN: I did.

  15. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? She DOESN’t KNOW IF SMOKING CHANGES THE TASTE OF FOOD? HOLY COW (LITERALLY) AND THEN TO JOKE SHE WOULD WEIGH 500 POUNDS. OH, MY. I’m not touching the married man item. I could so go there but I’m not. yet.

  16. I can never understand how (or why) people like her manage to become “TV Goddesses”. Are we all sheep? She has to be the luckiest “white trash” I know of.

  17. i think people should start complaining to the drug company that she made the endorsement with,

    just think of how many people she could help with diabetes if she donated the money they are going to give her.
    i know it is a dutch company and hard to get hold of by phone, so is the food network because i tried all day to call them. they need to pull her show. people need to boycott her program, write letters to food tv, and the drug company. let her donate the money she is going to make from them to help people who followed her disgusting recipes who may have diabetes and no money for drs or the medications they may need. and yes, boycott her son bobby’s new show, they knew this was coming, and the next thing you will see in the national enquirer is that bobby is gay. i do not really care about that, but it is just about how many things the Deen family has lied about. kick them off food tv. and i did not know she had an affair with a married man, he must have been blind drunk.

  18. veggiegirl216 said it the best! Thank you! I’ve seen undercover video’s of Smithfields packing facility. TOTALLY, DISGUSTING!

  19. I’m sad for Paula, but not all that surprised. Maybe she should look into a healthier diet to treat her diabetes instead of drugs? There’s lots of interesting information available at this noncommercial, science based site (nutritionfacts.org). To quote the good doctor: “It is too bad Paula Deen missed this opportunity” to tell her fans “that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, managed, treated, and even cured”. Read more at http://nutritionfacts.org/blog/2012/01/18/paula-deen-diabetes-drug-spokesperson/

  20. Maybe folks should lighten up a bit on Paula Deen. Fattening comfort food is not a Southern phenonmenon, y’all. Lobster rolls in New England, deep dish pizza in Chicago, and Tex Mex in Dallas, they’ll all pack the pounds on you. Take a stroll through any public space, coast to coast, and you’ll see that we have a lot of fat people in this country.

  21. Regarding the hog operations, I used to be in the meat biz. I will not purchase anything but all-natural, “never/ever” pork, like Niman Ranch, etc. I’ve seen the difference, and places like Smithfield are atrocious. Did you know that if one of the exhaust fans were to go out in one of those massive hog houses, you have less than THREE MINUTES to get out before the ammonia fumes from the hog waste overtakes you and KILLS YOU. However, if you go up the road in Iowa a few miles more to Paul Willis’ hog farm, you’ll see those pigs are in an open field, not stressed, they’re nesting, burrowing, etc. No antibiotics, etc., and the quality difference is like night and day. TOTALLY worth the money.

  22. Why are people so critical about the cooking style. If it doesnt fit your eating habits, then dont eat it. he It is just that simple. Her cooking is one of the culture of the south. Some one mentioned the cheesecake factory and they have tons of calories and Im sure many other restaurants too, but to rant and rave about her menu is ridiculous. the next time you go to her restaurant, ask for your serving to be on a tea saucers. Okay so she has diabetes, she isnt alone, Im sure she will take care of it.

  23. HOW COULD ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND DEFEND PAULA DEEN, THE CHEFS AT FOODTV WON’T EVEN COMMENT. I THINK IT IS IRRESPONSIBLE OF THE FTV NETWORK TO NOT PUT OUT A STATEMENT ABOUT HOW EVERYONE KNEW FOR 3 YEARS AND SHE LET PEOPLE FOLLOW HER RECIPES UNTIL SHE GOT A LUCRATIVE DEAL WITH A SUBSIDARIE OF NOVARITIS IN PRINCETON NJ
    LOOK IT UP AND CALL THEM AND COMPLAIN. HOW MUCH MONEY DOES SHE NEED. ALL THE MONEY SHE MAKES SHOULD GO TO DIABETES RESEARCH.

    HAVE YOUR BEST FRIEND DIE OF THE OF THIS DISEASE AT AGE 51 AND THIS WAS IN 1998 WAY BEFORE PAULA AND MAYBE YOU STOP DEFENDING HER.

    I AM SICKENED BY THIS WHOLE THING. PEOPLE NEED TO STAND UP TO THE FOOD TV NETWORK AND THE PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY.

    I JUST LEARNED MY GODSON WAS IN A DIABETIC COMA FOR A WEEK. DOES ANYONE CARE?
    TAKE ONE LOOK AT PAULA, NO EXERCISE, VEGETABLES WITH HAM HOCKS, …….I AM BEGGING ANYONE WHO READS THIS TO CALL THE PHARMA COMPANY AND COMPLAIN., SHE IS MAKING MONEY OF A DRUG, WHICH MOST PEOPLE CANNOT AFFORD.

    SORRY FOR THE RANT

  24. It makes me sick, Paula claims she kept quiet b/c she did get a deal and wanted to make sure her boys were taken care of .OMG I am so sick of ppl pulling the “take care of my kids” card for their kids when their in their 40′s

  25. *correction
    WHEN THEIR KIDS ARE IN THEIR 40′S
    It makes me sick, Paula claims she kept quiet b/c she did get a deal and wanted to make sure her boys were taken care of .OMG I am so sick of ppl pulling the “take care of my kids” card for their kids in their 40″s