Our changing view on food – a book review

September 17, 2016

Book: The Eat Real Food Cookbook

Author: David Gillespie / Reviewer: Greg Cary

About the book: (Pan Macmillan, 2016) For nearly ten years, David Gillespie has warned us of the dangers of sugar, and Australia has listened. More recently he has alerted us to the other toxin in our food supply: seed oil. Most processed food – from French fries to yoghurt to spreadable butter – contains one or both of these ingredients, so the question is: how do we eat real food? Expanding on his 2015 bestseller Eat Real Food, David’s The Eat Real Food Cookbook is your guide to saying ‘no’ to the food the manufacturers want you to eat and ‘yes’ to the sort of food that will help you manage your weight and the long-term health of your family. David is a former corporate lawyer and the best-selling author of the Sweet Poison books, Big Fat Lies, Free Schools and Toxic Oil. He lives in Brisbane with his wife and six children.


It is often interesting to look at history and wonder how previous generations could have believed or done certain things.

That “intelligent” and “decent” people believed in slavery, the inferiority of women or the benefits of cigarette smoking is today a matter of bewilderment and shock. Times change and information emerges. The power elites are confronted.

Looking back is easier but what do we make of the future? One thing for sure is that our attitude to food and the prevailing “facts” will change dramatically.

In fact, they already are. Big time.

At the forefront of changing our food views

At the forefront of that war on the status quo is David Gillespie, whose Sweet Poison books have examined and explained the incredibly negative health consequences of sugar.

Moreover, he has highlighted the hypocrisy and ignorance of much of the medical fraternity as well as the delinquent policies of governments and  organisations like the National Heart Foundation who abuse the trust we place in them by endorsing (via their “ticks for sale”) products that not only do us no good, but actually do great harm.

Even Diabetes Australia cling to dietary views that are, at best, debatable. This at a time when Type 2 diabetes is rising exponentially.

We are at a tipping point in terms of our understanding of what we need to eat (and why) and what food groups best allow us to do that.

As David writes:

“Don’t look now but we’re the lab rats in one of the most callous and horrific experiments ever perpetrated on the human race. The experiment is designed to find out exactly how much fake food we can eat before it kills us.The real purpose of the experiment is to dramatically increase the profits of the food industry by cutting costs and increasing sales. And the trick is to do that without the subjects knowing it’s happening.”

Can the battle be won?

The battle for those leading the charge is not easy. They face the resistance of entrenched orthodoxies (for instance, that fat is bad for us) and industries that are making a fortune as things stand.

The medical and pharmaceutical communities play key roles here, too, either wittingly or as a result of their own gullibility.

It is hardly in the interests, for example, of those who make a fortune (many billions a year) from diabetes and its associated problems to reduce its incidence, anymore than the producers of the drugs related to ADHD would endorse a more realistic approach to that over-diagnosed and over-medicated “problem”.

David Gillespie – the author’s story:

David Gillespie’s story is now well-known – a lawyer who needed to lose a lot of weight and went in search of the answers. And found them.

The Eat Real Food Cookbook is a natural and important addition to David’s previous books.

For those new to his work he explains again the principles on which his thinking is based and then provides 80 recipes (at least, his wife Lizzie does!)  that are both enjoyable and will lead to permanent weight loss and better health. No diets here.

David outlines the good fats and bad, good sugars and bad. And much more.

He also decodes our (deliberately) confusing food labels and reminds us of the old Mafia saying:

“The best place to hide a body is in a massacre. Food labels work on the same principle. They throw numbers, columns and unrecognisable words at us in the hope that we don’t find ‘the body’ – the dangerous stuff we need to know about. Most of what you need to know is right there in the label. It’s just buried in a thousand things you don’t need to know.”

The more you research the food we eat (and why) the more concerned you become at the power of vested interests and the information we accepted and lived our lives by. So much of it was just plain wrong – and dangerously so. What we were fed and what we feed our children. And what many continue to eat and drink in good faith. Had a “health” drink lately?

The recipes here are delightful and easily followed: Hungarian Goulash to lasagna; baked custard to trifle.

David explains that “All the recipes in the book were developed with the primary aim of minimising our exposure to polyunsaturated fats and fructose. The second aim was to do it with the most commonly available, cheapest possible ingredients. You might be rolling in dosh, but poor struggling authors with six kids need to keep an eye on the budget.”

David is no doubt struggling less now than when he first began what has become a lifetime quest to impart knowledge in order to change attitudes and behaviours.

He talks softly and smiles often but, as many of those he has challenged will confirm, he is a formidable opponent with a powerful message.  And another excellent book.

Stars: 5 Five stars

Connect with the publisher, Pan Macmillan – here

Connect with the author, David Gillespie – here

Meet David Gillespie – Northside Conversations

Presented by She Brisbane and Northside Meetings, if you are a Brisbane resident, join David for a conversation about being taken seriously as a lawyer who likes to tread on the toes of other professionals, being qualified to write, popularising complex topics, and the citizen’s right to know. David’s books will be on sale at the event.

Date: Sunday 16 October, 2016
Time: 10am to 12noon
Location: Northside Meetings, 110 Windsor Road, Red Hill.
Cost & booking: $20 Eventbrite (booking fee applies) or Northside Meetings (07) 3368 1088 (no booking fee).

Entry at 9.45am for a 10am start. Please advise of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. Tickets are non-refundable. Ticket purchasers agree to receive future promotional information from She Brisbane and Northside Meetings.

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