Paula Deen announced new plans to lighten up her recipes, in what seems like an unspoken admission that critics are right to be outraged by her promotion of diabetes drugs and embarrassingly fat- and sugar-heavy foods. She says she plans to remain true to herself (read: she’s not going to teach you how to make a kale salad anytime soon), but she will start finding ways to reduce the calorie, fat and sugar content of her recipes. To which we say: Good Job, PD! We knew you’d figure out how bad it looked to make donut cheeseburgers while teaching people how to manage diabetes.
Deen made statements about the future of her cooking career at the South Beach Food & Wine festival earlier today, telling the Associated Press:
I am who I am. But what I will be doing is offering up lighter versions of my recipes. I will have a broader platform now, trying to do something for everybody. But you know, I’m Southern by roots. I was taught (to cook) by my grandmother and nothing I can do would change that.
Well, we never expected her to teach us how to make sushi, but it seems like a long time coming for her to reconsider her extensive use of butter, bacon and processed foods. After all, there once was a time when good Southern food was made without Velveeta or Philadelphia cream cheese.
When Paula Deen started touting diabetes drugs to go along with her wonderfully fattening fare last month, she shrugged off criticism with several lines of defense. They ranged from claiming her fat- and sugar-laden recipes were only meant to be an occasional indulgence, reminding us that she’s a chef, not a doctor, and even calling critics classist. But now that she’s given the outrage a few weeks to cool down, it appears she’s finally coming around to the fact that her Southern charm won’t make up for the hypocrisy of her unhealthy recipes in light of her new deal as a diabetes drug rep.
We’re not sure we’ll be turning to Deen for healthy lifestyle tips anytime soon, but it’s good to know that she (and her PR team) have finally started to wake up to reality.