Foreword to ‘Why didn’t my Grandmother get fat?’

David Mason-Jones for scrolling picsThis is the foreword  which appears at the front of the book, ‘Why didn’t my Grandmother get fat? … and why did I?’. It is written by Vicki Poulter who is Co-founder and director  Nourishing Australia, director Healthy Soils Australia, International Advisory Board member of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation and former Australian Coordinator and Sydney Chapter leader of the Weston A Price Foundation

David Mason-Jones is an interesting bloke. I discovered this when I read his book, ‘Should Meat be on the Menu?’  in which he first questioned, then methodically debunked, the widely accepted idea that livestock per se significantly raise the level of global warming gases in the atmosphere.

He had previously accepted this view about the livestock industry but started seeing inconsistencies. He did some serious research and wrote a book, a journalist’s polemic, challenging the notion that eating meat was bad for the planet. After reading the book, I contacted David to congratulate him but also to suggest that he needed to answer his own question about whether meat should be on the menu. I suggested that the answer might lie in pointing out that eating meat from holistically managed grass-fed animals is not only good for the planet but also good for us.

Following our discussions and more reading by David, this new book, another polemic, addresses his own struggles with his weight.  The book is timely and extremely relevant to the current obesity crisis. This is no road to Damascus diet story complete with recipes. David leads us on personal journey of discovery. It is a thinking person’s exploration of weight issues, human frailty, dogma and misinformation. It is a brave and honest move to share a very intimate and sometimes confronting story as he ponders the big questions as to why he got fat in the first place. He reflects on the role that shaky science and poor dietary advice played in his situation.

‘Globesity’ is a concept coined in a recent documentary about how multinational corporations  market and export their highly processed  foods and drinks, made solely for shelf-life and profit. The documentary asserted that these products are a major cause of a  world-wide explosion  of obesity and diabetes. It seems we are the only species on earth that is clever enough to manufacture our own foods – and stupid enough to eat them!

Nourishing Australia, works to raise awareness of the health benefits of nutrient-dense traditional foods and alert consumers to  the dangers presented to our health by modern, refined, processed foods. We encourage people to care about the quality of their food, how it is produced and the effect of its production on the land that ultimately supports us all. The bottom line is if you eat you’re involved in agriculture. We believe that each action we take in deciding which foods to buy and eat can create a very different future for ourselves, our children and the earth.

Fear of saturated fat and cholesterol makes people afraid of many nourishing traditional foods. Current conventional ‘wisdom’ champions high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets as optimum. Much evidence however shows that the healthiest diet for weight loss and general health may the exact opposite to the conventional wisdom. A diet high in animal fats, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates, particularly from processed foods containing sugars and cereals. may be our healthiest eating option.

In our highly urbanized society we are far removed from the sources and origins of our food. We line up in supermarkets to buy cleverly packaged food about which we know very little. David encourages the reader to adopt a deeply questioning attitude to the food processing industry, food labelling, food advertising and conventional nutritional advice. He encourages readers to actively seek out alternative food supply chains such as farmers’ markets.

This is a book that anyone who shops and eats should read. Though touching on the general health implications, David has wisely decided to keep weight management as his theme. I mentioned at the beginning that David Mason-Jones is an interesting bloke and reading about his experience has shown this to be true. This is ‘must read’ for the millions of blokes like David who are carrying too much weight but unable to lose it by trying to follow conventional advice to ‘eat less and move more’. Women might not only buy it for themselves but also for the men in their lives who are less likely to pick up a ‘diet’ book and read it!

Ultimately, in sharing his story and that of his grandmother, David seeks to empower the reader to take control of their own weight and health. He has answered his own question posed in the title of the first book. He concludes that meat from properly managed grazing animals— that is,  ‘finished’ on grass—together with its associated animal fat, should indeed be on the menu – as it has been extensively in human history.

Vicki Poulter, Nourishing Australia, Healthy Soils Australia

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