The Loh Life

Mitts off: Deen on ice-- part 2

Sandra Tsing Loh argues celebrity chef Paula Deen isn't to blame for America's obesity epidemic.

I’ve been weighing in on the Paula Deen flap-- Or flaps, given that her WEIGHT has become such a national TARGET, with her recent announcement that she has Diabetes 2. To which I’m SAYING, America, calm down! Please!

If we happen to be one of the FATTEST of all NATIONS, this Southern CHEF ISN’T to blame. Check out the supermarket, where mac ‘n’ cheese SWEATS under heatlamps, or our Starbucks, plying frappuccinos and cakepops, or even the Cheesecake Factory, where a Chinese Chicken salad is 1500 calories!

Fattening FOOD is all around us, MOST of it far more CONVENIENT than what Paula Deen PLIES, as she slowly and lovingly folds whipped CREAM into CREAM cheese into BUTTER, SNIPPING mini-MARSHMALLOWS in half with SHEARS. It takes at least 30 MINUTES for her to make a 4000-calorie dessert--who has that kind of TIME?

I say if you’re going to ATTACK cooking shows, why STOP at Paula Deen? To my mind there is NO cooking show—not ONE—that REMOTELY helps the REAL Americans who DAILY flail our WAY across our kitchens.

Take all those Iron CHEF-inspired shows, where caterers fight the CLOCK to invent a new ENTRÉE for semi-CELEBRITIES based on surprise exotic INGREDIENTS like green almonds and barramundi.

I like the TIMED concept and the surprise INGREDIENT concept-- And next time Tony DANZA drops by UNEXPECTEDLY for dinner, I’ll be ready -- But like so MANY working mothers, I usually find myself at the perilously HUNGRY five o’ clock hour looking at a can of tuna and two stale English muffins, trying to craft a MEAL for an 11 year old who recently became a vegetarian. Oh and look, here’s some Nutella. Meanwhile, I’M on the Zone Diet, which is all about lean protein, no sugar and no starch. That can of tuna is looking pretty good.

Also visiting today is nonegenarian grandpa, who has no teeth. HIS standard complaint? “Your ice cream is too cold!” And don’t forget the IN-laws from Seattle, who will start PACING the house like wild ANIMALS if we run out of WINE.

This was what my end-of-2011 HOLIDAYS were like, a period from which I am STILL in recovery. Over a two-week PERIOD we had like 10 houseguests, all nice PEOPLE but GIVEN to gazing up to the heavens and asking questions that began with: “Where is--?” and “Do we have--?”

What I NEEDED, Paula Deen aside, was not a COOKBOOK, but an outdoor chest FREEZER. Not to store the limbs of all my family members’ hacked-up BODIES, but to always be at the READY, like a Ninja, when people HURTLED at me with their many and varied dietary NEEDS.

Next Week: Feeding the World—literally.


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