Do you mind if I call you Paula? I’m from the Northeast. We call people by their first names here. Not “m’am” or “Ms. Deen.”
Anyway. I’m writing in regard to the recent news that you not only suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, but that you’ve also teamed up with big pharma to hock a pill to help manage the disease. As I said earlier this week, I don’t think you’re solely responsible for the ill health of many Americans like some would believe.
But I do think you’re making a poor business decision by putting the management of your diabetes in the hands of Novo Nordisk. Your diagnosis is a cash cow waiting to be slaughtered and put between two glazed donuts. Why share the dough with a drug company when you can keep it for yourself?
Here’s what you sold to Novo Nordisk, according to their press release:
Through the program, the Deens are creating modified, diabetes-friendly versions of their favorite recipes and appearing at diabetes cooking events across the country. […] People can visit the program’s website, http://www.DiabetesinaNewLight.com, to learn more about Paula’s story, get the Deen’s diabetes-friendly recipes, as well as tips and information about type 2 diabetes management.
While both you and the company have refused to disclose how much you’re being paid, it can’t be as much as if you’d put the full force of the Deen Family Empire behind it.
Think about it. The Food Network would probably have tossed you a new show or two on which to highlight your healthy recipes. (It appears your son Bobby got that deal, getting a show on which he lightens up your recipes.) Open up a couple of Deen-light restaurants in health-conscious cities like Los Angeles or Boston. A reality show chronicling your struggles to control your weight would probably do better than The Biggest Loser. Maybe a workout video in which you mime riding things in various manners. A QVC line of low-sodium hams. The possibilities are as endless as the buffet at Lady and Sons.
And you wouldn’t have to share the money with anyone.
You’re a shrewd businesswoman. You didn’t go from agoraphobic to owning a multi-million dollar food empire by dumb luck. It just makes me sad to see you share your unfortunate new limelight with a huge conglomerate.