Photo: Bev Sykes
Doubtless you have already heard the latest news story, so thick with irony that it is its own satire. Paula Deen, the “queen of butter,” not only announces that she has Type 2 Diabetes, but — wait! there’s more! — announces that she has become a paid spokeswoman for pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. She’s even got a web site to promote her bad habits.
Since the irony will likely be lost on a lot of people, I’ll spell it out. This is a perfect example of the commoditization of food, medical care, and information. Things which make good commodities are not necessarily good for us. Paula Deen has now become a commodity, and can’t even see it. On the one hand the big corporations sell you the foods that give you diabetes, and on the other they’ll also sell you the drugs that will control your diabetes.
Money can sell bad food, bad information, and bad medical care. Good information, good food, and good medical care are not easily made into a commodity, because there aren’t that many ways to make a profit on it. You can write some books, I suppose, or maybe invest in broccoli futures, but that’s about it. But this is nothing compared to the money to be made by pharmaceutical companies, drugs, big agriculture, and high-powered medicine. And in our society, guess which wins out?
We can only speculate as to why Paula Deen has sold herself out, but the obvious suspicion is that it has something to do with her bank account. The “diabetes-friendly” lasagne recipe she provides gets 2/3 of its calories from protein and fat, has 55 mg of cholesterol per serving, and features 4½ cups of cheese, 2 eggs, and a half pound of beef. It’s “diabetes-friendly” all right; I’ll bet her diabetes will flourish with it. The recipe and materials, we are told, have been reviewed by “Diabetes Care and Education” — evidently another organization bought out by the influence of corporate money, which now controls our political system, our medical care, our food, our information, and our entire lives.
A vegan diet can not only treat diabetes, but can actually reverse diabetes. Drugs can sometimes lower blood sugar, but at increased risk of heart attacks and bone fractures. When the American Diabetes Association diet was put head-to-head against a vegan diet in a clinical trial, the trial demonstrated that the vegan diet was clearly superior and actually reversed some cases of diabetes.
Get a grip, Paula. If Bill Clinton can do it, you can do it. Go vegan.