ARDEN HILLS, MN– Paula Deen may have told the Huffington Post a month after she revealed to the world she had Type 2 diabetes in January that she had no regrets. But one agriculture cooperative in Arden Hills, Minn. has plenty of regrets four months later.
Land O’Lakes, one of the largest producers of cheese and butter in the world, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday. The agricultural cooperative, which employs around 9,000 employees, blamed a dramatic drop in butter and cheese sales for the company’s recent downturn.
“We had strong sales through the holidays, but once Paula announced she had diabetes the market turned for the worse,” said Antonio Bourdain, CEO of Land O’Lakes. “Deen’s viewers counted for over half the butter market. When she embraced the healthy kick there went the butter sticks.”
Deen before the healthy stick embraced recipes that were full of butter and cheese. For instance Deen’s 883-calorie Chocolate Cheese Fudge recipe calls for two sticks of butter and 1/2 lb. of cheddar cheese. Bourdain feels betrayed by Deen’s abandonment of chocolate covered queso recipes and others like it.
“It’s like she took a very sharp carrot and jabbed it deep into our back. I don’t understand how she can abandon the American farmer like that, when our products were the yeast to her rise in success,” said Bourdain.
Deen announced in January that she had been battling Type 2 diabetes for three years and unveiled an endorsement deal with the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. She and her sons, Jamie and Bobby are being paid to be the face of the “Diabetes in a New Light” campaign, which encourages patients to take Nordisk’s Victoza, a noninsulin diabetes medication, along with increase physical activity and eating healthy food.
“I’m sorry to put 9,000 people out of work y’all. But in my own way I’ve helped stimulate the economy in other ways. Through my promotion of Victoza, Novo Nordisk has been able to maintain employing 29,000 workers world wide,” said Deen.
More than 25 million Americans have diabetes with most of it being Type 2 diabetes. Deen has no idea what caused her to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. But experts say Deen’s cooking and her influence at the American dinner table lead to her and America’s diabetes problem.
“You promote a dish called Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Butter Rum Sauce which calls for two dozen donuts, 4,800 calories in just the donuts. You don’t have to do the math to figure out what the cause is,” said Dr. Mildred Calhoun, a professor of nutrition at UNC-Asheville State.
While Deen may be to blame for a diabetes epidemic and 9,000 unemployed Land O’Lakes employees, Deen says she is just living the American dream.
“America believes in second chances, sure I may have made mistakes in the past but look at me now. I’ve made millions fixing my mistakes and now 25 million Americans can fix their diabetes mistakes for just $500 dollars a month and a prescription of Victoza. I’m saving lives and making money doing it. It’s like I’m a doctor y’all,” said Deen.