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Definition of a Lifely Food Product

Debra Redalia


These raw fermented organic olives from Good Faith Farm would be a lifely wholefood product.


This post is an application of my Definition of Lifely Products on my Lifely website.

It is a work-in-progress and will likely evolve as I gain more experience with lifely products.

Wholefood Cuisine has as it’s focus the idea of eating whole foods instead of industrially processed foods.

But there is more to it. Because you could eat a whole, unprocessed ear of GMO corn sprayed with pesticides and grown in soil enriched with synthetic fertilizers that have no nutrients, and technically that would be “whole” because it is fresh and not processed. Or you could eat an ear of corn that is an heirloom variety, grown organically in soil enriched with organic matter that would be full of nutrients, and that would really be whole.

The unprocessed ear of GMO corn sprayed with pesticides and grown in soil enriched with synthetic fertilizers that have no nutrients is an industrial food product.

The ear of corn that is an heirloom variety, grown organically in soil enriched with organic matter that would be full of nutrients would be a lifely product.

Lifely is a word Larry and I came up with to refer to our living-as-Life viewpoint that we are exploring through all our websites of The Lifely Group. Wholefood Cuisine is one of those websites, so we are applying the lifely criteria here as well.

We view ourselves as part of Nature rather than part of the industrial world. Our aim is to live integrated with the ecosystems in which we dwell, and have our needs met directly, rather than through industrial society.

With this in mind, the question becomes: How do we meet the everyday physical needs of our bodies for food while also considering the needs of other humans and life-at-large?

Living As Nature

First, we need to recognize that our needs are met by Nature, not by industrial manufacturing. As a species of Nature, as Homo sapiens our bodies need to be nourished with the foods Nature has provided for us, in the ecosystems in which we live. And those foods need to be grown and harvested and prepared in ways that allow more food to continue to be grown and harvested because the soil continues to be regenerated by our human actions.

Start with Food Lifestyle Choices

Unless we make choices otherwise, our “food lifestyle” is dominated by industrialism.

As consumers of food, we are offered a dizzying array of food choices, including foods from all over the world, prepared in enticing ways with additives that addict us so we buy industrial food products. Genetically-altered foods are grown in soils that have few nutrients and sprayed with pesticides, producing foods that have little or no nutrition. Synthetic vitamins made from petroleum are then added to “fortify” the lifeless food.

Food has become big business in the past two decades. The number of food shows on television and video have skyrocketed, encouraging viewers to eat all manner of delicious foods because viewers excitement about food results in advertising dollars and the sale of cooking equipment. Stores are filled with unnecessary cooking gadgets and machines that make money, but aren’t really necessary. Kitchens are getting bigger and bigger.

Here are five things you can do to step out of the industrial food lifestyle and in to Nature.

  • eliminate all industrial food products – this would be anything in a package of any kind with a label (unless you know it is handmade by an artisan producer).
  • learn to cook and make foods yourself – gain the skill of preparing food for yourself and your family from fresh whole foods. This puts control over your food choices literally in your hands instead of being controlled by the industrial food system.
  • eat simple – reduce the wide variety of foods you may be eating to fewer foods, simply prepared.
  • buy local and seasonal – if you lived in Nature and there were no supermarkets selling industrial food, you would eat the food that exists in Nature where you live. It would appear in season and would be available at no other time of year. This is how it used to be when I was a child. We didn’t have strawberries all year long, we had them only for my birthday in June.
  • reduce the amount of kitchen stuff you have and use – all you really need to cook are a few knives and bowls and pots. Have what you actually need to prepare the food you want to eat.


Lifely Description of a Food Product Based in Nature

Back in the early 1990s, Larry and I took a trip to the Netherlands. A field of Belted Galloway cows caught our attention because they had a wide white band around their middles, which we had never seen before. And then we noticed that there was a building where they made cheese, right there in the field! They simply milked the cows, carried the milk a few feet into the creamery, made the cheese, and sold it to customers who were passing by. Of course, we had to try some of the cheese and it was delicious! That would be a lifely food product. And not so long ago, prior to industrialization, all products made were made like this.

Lifely products are made and sold outside of the industrial consumer system. They are products like

  • organic foods grown by local farmers and sold through farmer’s markets
  • prepared food products made with local produce and sold through farmer’s markets and local independent stores. Here we have, for example, hard cider made from a number of different varieties of apples grown here locally.
  • local organic foods prepared in local restaurants by local chefs

In particular, lifely foods would be seasonal, local, native to place, and prepared by traditional methods, celebrating the cuisine of the place, made with your own loving hands.

The most lifely product would be for the food to be grown in your own organic garden or foraged by you from your own ecosystem, then prepared into a creative dish with your own hands.