Top 8 Culinary Scandals of the Past Decade

Oh, Paula Deen. Just stop talking and eat some butter.
Oh, Paula Deen. Just stop talking and eat some butter.

It seems every day someone new is coming out of the woodwork to claim he or she was wronged by Paula Deen. The once-beloved host of Paula's Home Cooking on the Food Network has been accused of racial and sexual discrimination by a number of former employees and was quoted using the "N-word" and saying she wanted to have a "true Southern plantation-style theme" for her brother's wedding, complete with black male servers. The fat, white, Southern belle of cooking is racist. Shocking.

This all came after a previous scandal in which Deen revealed she has diabetes and knew about her diabetes even while continuing to push overly sweet and fatty foods on her TV show. Then she went on to become a paid spokesperson for the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, which exports insulin. Deen's longtime rival Anthony Bourdain joked that he was going to start breaking legs to sell crutches, since that's essentially what Deen is doing. Oh, the hypocrisy!

Because we're actually kind of tired of hearing about Deen, we've compiled a list featuring the best of the rest of the past decade's culinary scandals. Also, someone needs to take the heat off of Deen. Poor old lady can't handle it!

You're welcome, Paula.

8. Mad Cow Disease

It's kind of pretty under a microscope...
It's kind of pretty under a microscope...
Photo from the CDC

Mad Cow Disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has been in the news since the 1980s, but the first confirmed case of an American cow with Mad Cow Disease occurred in 2003. The cow, who was raised in Washington state, set off alarm bells all over the country. Previously, Mad Cow Disease seemed to have been confined to England and Canada, but its appearance in the United States was crippling to the beef industry. Within hours of the announcement in December 2003, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore all banned the import of U.S. beef. Japan was the top importer of U.S. beef in 2003, buying 240,000 tons that year, valued at $1.4 billion. Three other cases of Mad Cow Disease have been confirmed in this country since 2003, the most recent being in 2012. Though more than 100 people have died in England since the '90s as a result of infected cows, no one in the United States has died. Relations with Japan's meat importing bigwigs are still not great though, and Japan and other nations have banned U.S. beef several times since 2003.

7. Martha Stewart's Insider Trading

I'll be the first to admit that I'm kind of obsessed with Martha Stewart. I love the woman. She can do no wrong. Oh, except for that time in 2004 when she went to prison for five months for securities fraud stemming from sales of ImClone Systems stock after her broker provided her with insider trading tips. Martha took her prison sentence in stride and emerged better than ever. Many thought that prison would be the downfall of the domestic goddess, but she emerged with a new drive to take over the homemaking business. In a special issue about scandals, People Magazine said, "Some expected America's goddess of domestic perfection to fall into terminal despair. Instead, with the drive that would make her a billionaire, Stewart took her lemon of a sentence and made lemonade. Heck, she made a lemon soufflé." And that is why Martha is still my hero and why I sometimes still read People.

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