There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen, that it is from the hand of God.
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
(I Corinthians 10:31)
This past week I have been profoundly disappointed in a woman whom I have admired for many years. Paula Deen is practically an American icon. While hopefully no one eats the way she cooks every night of the week, I have appreciated the zest with which she prepares meals for her guests. I love her attitude of enjoying the food that God has blessed us with. For feasting is truly a gift from God. We eat like the kings and queens of old in this country. I never apologize for using two sticks of butter in my desserts. My guests may have private thoughts about how healthy the food is, but I have never had anyone turn it down. It is a wonderful thing to have friends, and hospitality is a grace.
I try to care for the body that God has given me, so we eat in moderation in our home. We eat our 5 to 6 servings of fruits and veggies and all the rest of it. But when we’re celebrating, I prepare good tasting meals, rejoicing in the fat of the land that is a blessing from God. Paula’s recipes reflect the joy in cooking a treat for your guests.
I don’t hold with those sourpusses who take all the joy out of life by insisting that you never eat sugar, butter, warm bread out of the oven, or a juicy steak. This food is a gift from God and should be used when celebrating.
Now that I’ve said all that, it makes me sad to have to criticize a woman who also enjoys those blessings from God. Recently Paula Deen admitted to having been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about three years ago. Some are saying that she just waited until she could cash in on the big money that is being raked in by the drug companies.
I hope not. I hope she was just embarrassed and is trying to make the best of things. Whatever her motivation, I wish she would not be supporting the drug companies. I wish she would use her status as a star to promote a healthy alternative.
What frightens me is that the message she may be conveying to her fans is, “Eat however you want, and if you get diabetes, just pop a pill. Everything will be all right!”
Well, Paula, everything will not be all right. Please look at the side effects of the drug you are promoting, Victoza, and notice that people may die from taking it.
I wish Paula would still write her wonderful recipes, while promoting moderation. She has an opportunity to be a real heroine to those who enjoy eating, but need some guidance in using food in their everyday life.
Instead of promoting a dangerous drug, Paula could use her immense popularity to talk to folks about eating a healthy diet, so they don’t get sick like she did. Everyone could then really celebrate with rich, wonderful food on all special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and all holidays, and all other celebrations, weddings, announcements, and the Lord’s Day. In our home, we eat healthy on all regular days and then honor the Lord on His Day (Sunday) each week with a big dinner. It is one of the ways that we thank God for His bounteous provisions.
And so, I am writing this letter to her. I plan on mailing her a copy. I hope that my readers who also appreciate the blessings from God, but are concerned about health will take note of the dangers in the drug that Paula is endorsing.
I have loved watching your show for many years now. I love reading your newsletter. I own a half dozen of your cookbooks.
Your life story is one of determination, hard work, caring, compassion and downright fun. Others would criticize you for the amount of butter and sugar in your recipes, but I know that these things are what make foods really special. I do not cook that way every day; I use your recipes when I want to make sure that the meal I serve my guests is a real treat.
Like many others, I was inspired by your story of overcoming obstacles to raise your boys and form successful businesses. You are an encouragement to women who face difficult things in their lives. The message you gave us was to never quit.
Then when you became successful, you gave back. You have made it known that you were grateful for your blessings and have seen to it that others benefit from those blessings, by your involvement in the Bethesda Home for Boys, America’s Second Harvest, and providing millions of meals for America’s hungry.
I love the way you interact with your public. You are not a snob who holds herself aloof. Your interaction with thousands of people when you tour the country reminds me of what is best in America. With your down-home demeanor and your dazzling smile, you inspired trust in your fans.
That is why I am so disappointed in the way you have handled your bout with diabetes. I wish you would have been forthright about it and told everyone about your diagnosis immediately. It would not look like a cover up now.
There are many reasons for Type 2 diabetes. Eating too much rich food is only part of the cause. You could have investigated this illness. You could have discovered more natural ways to deal with Diabetes. There are many other experts who could have told you just how bad Victoza is. There are many doctors who can show you a healthy way to live with your Type 2 diabetes.
As a leader that many people trust, you could have become a spokesperson for “Moderation” and living a healthy lifestyle including exercise and natural supplements.
Instead you turned to a drug company who is marketing a questionable drug. There are many sites that you could have gone to that would have given you information on just how dangerous the drug you are endorsing is. I wish you would have done that. Now, you will lose the trust of many folks.
Please consider the facts about the drug:
1. The FDA approved Victoza in 2010, but it did so amid strong evidence of a link to thyroid cancer, based on tests done in 2009.
2. Last June, in a report by MedPage Today, the FDA “issued a warning about the risks of thyroid cancer and pancreatitis associated with the diabetes drug liraglutide (Victoza).” Novo Nordisk, the drug maker, was directed by the FDA to send out a “Dear healthcare professional” letter after determining that some primary care providers were not completely aware of the serious risks. The FDA also told Novo Nordisk to include a “black box” warning on the label. Black boxes are the agency’s strongest warning, used when grave side effects, possible even fatal ones, are at issue. They were supposed to inform the users that the drug “causes thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures in rodents.” Further testing showed that these results could show up in humans too.
Today, Novo Nordisk lists all of the side effects on its web page for Victoza, right under the new slogan “Diabetes in a new light” next to your photo, Paula. Paula, how can you do this?
3. Here’s the real kicker: What do you gain by taking this dangerous drug? Some medical authorities question whether the drug actually works. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that lowering a patient’s blood sugar affects the Type 2 diabetes at all. University of North Carolina professor of medicine, Nortin Hadler, penned a blunt article in 2008 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology declaring them essentially useless, because, he claims, lowering patient’s blood-sugar levels does not deliver any tangible benefits. And in his book on aging, Hadler minced no words. The drugs should be “taken off the market until one can be shown to benefit some group of patients, any group of patients.” He continued: “That’s obvious—why hasn’t it happened? One answer is that there is such a cloud of smoke and so many mirrors that few see clearly to join me in this outcry. Another answer is greed. In an interview, Hadler said that all the drugs designed to do what Victoza does have “significant side effects” and “have never been shown in years of study to provide any benefit.”
Paula, the drug does not cure the disease. It is dangerous. Please stop endorsing it.
The message here is: you cannot overindulge and get away with it. If you do anything to excess, you must pay for it. It appeals to our sin nature to think that we can be gluttons and then just pop a pill to cure the effects. It won’t happen. Enjoying good health takes work and discipline. Then on those days when you get out the Paula Deen cookbook and make gooey chocolate stuff, you can really enjoy it guilt free!!!