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About This Glossary
Because the subject of food is so important and because we are introducing in this blog a whole new way to think about food, we want to be clear about our vocabulary and define some new words.
I, Debra, created this Glossary for me as much as for you, for a couple of reasons.
First, I wanted to make sure I was using the correct words and using them correctly and then present the definitions to you so you could better understand what I am intending to say.
But more importantly, even, the subject of Wholefood Cuisine requires specialized vocabulary. We are discussing concepts that are not commonly understood or even known in our present industrial society. There are words that perfectly describe some essential concepts, and we want to make those words known and find or create words as needed to identify and discuss concepts.
So this Glossary is as much a workspace for me to understand and define words as it is a place for you to look up the meaning of a word. As a result, you may find more than definitions here. You’ll see my notes and jottings and explorations and meanderings and delight as I explore and define a nomenclature for our subject at hand.
I internd to frequently link to these definitions in everything I write, for clarity, but also to get these words and definitions into use.
And I hope you will take advantage of the comments to ask questions and give us your two cents. Language is a living, changing, evolving part of Life. New words and definitions are constantly being created. So let’s create our language for this subject.
Eventually, this will all get standardized into a format, but for the moment, it’s a work-in-progress.
What a Difference a Word Makes
As writers, words are important to us. They are the basic unit of understanding. Not understanding a word can prevent the understanding of a sentence, which can prevent the understanding of a thought, which can prevent the understanding of a whole subject. And conversely, the understanding of just one word can make something go so right it can be life-changing and even world-changing.
I had a dramatic example of this while working on The Lifely Group Glossary, when I decided to look up the definition of the word nature. I thought I knew what the word meant, but as I thought about it, I got confused about how to use the word in the context of writing about lifely. To me, humans are a species of nature among other species. But, lo and behold, the dictionary definition of nature is everything in the world except humans! While that definition is not true from the viewpoint of Life, it is true from the viewpoint of industrialization. In the industrial world, humans are consumers and nature is natural resources. Anything made by man is man-made and not of nature. This is the standard dictionary definition across all the modern dictionaries I could find, which shows how far the reality of our current culture is from the actual truth.
Given the importance of words, please do look up any word you don’t understand, especially if you are struggling to understand any of the concepts on this website. Never underestimate the clarity and power that can be released with the understanding of a word. And if the industrial dictionary definition doesn’t make sense, please contact us and we’ll add the words you don’t understand to this Glossary.
Please take as much time as you need to understand words. Take our definitions as a starting point and continue to explore until you reach the satisfaction of understanding. The internet is a wonderful tool that can give you a breadth of information that goes far beyond a simple dictionary definition. Following the path that opens when you begin to explore the meaning of a word can be an adventure in itself.
The Dictionaries We Use
As we began to work on The Lifely Group Glossary, we happened to become aware of a film called “The Professor and the Madman,” which is about the process of compiling words for the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). It actually took seventy years and the participation of volunteers from the entire English-speaking world to complete the OED. We take language for granted today, but there was a time when there was little order to the English language and now we have that order. [Read more about the History of the OED]
Though we, Debra and Larry, had relied on other more “everyday” and “convenient” online, free, dictionaries, once we saw the film we realized what we had been missing and set out to learn more about the OED. As the accepted authority on the English language, it is “an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.” In addition to the present-day meaning of words, “you’ll also find the history of individual words, and of the language—traced through 3 million quotations, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.” This was just what we needed.
We wanted to make sure we had the definitive information about words in our Glossary so we looked online to see how we could access the OED.
It turns out that the OED is now available only online. And you have to pay for a yearly subscription. Unless you have a library card from a library that subscribes to the OED, and then you can have unlimited access for free. The closest library that had a subscription was the San Francisco Public Library, so we drove to San Francisco and got a library card. If you want access to the OED online, just find your nearest library that subscribes and get a library card.
We love having the OED available as a reference, but it is a bit cumbersome if you just want a quick definition. So I, Debra, usually start with the Merriam Webster Dictionary and then go to the OED if I need more clarity or want to know more details on the history of the use of the word.
We really needed access to the OED because we had been noticing that modern dictionaries contained definitions of words based on our current industrial worldview, which didn’t necessarily match Life itself. We’ve found so many “industrial” definitions of words in the so-called English dictionaries we feel like we need to rewrite the dictionary! And so we’re starting with this glossary. We’ll give you the industrial definitions, the relevant historical definitions, and our lifely definitions. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll have a Lifely Dictionary based on actual Life.
We really need new language to write about food based in Life rather than in industrial consumerism, and we’re starting to create that right here.
One thing that is important to understand about dictionaries is that they are collections of words based on use. The OED was complied by people all over the English-speaking world sending in examples of words used in print. But there are also words used in speech, I just learned that Shakespeare made up 422 words! Dictionaries are continuously adding and deleting words and definitions they think are obscure. Dictionaries reflect the viewpoints and usage of today, not yesterday, and obviously not the unknown future. So we’re feeling free to creeate language based in Life and we welcome your participation.
wholefood: a food as it exists in nature, without any industrial processing.
After eating very few carbohydrates for almost two decades, when I was able to eat carbs again, I rushed to Whole Foods to buy all kinds of food products made from these so-called “whole food” carbs, such as whole wheat bread and crackers and pasta, and pasta and crackers made with beans. At the same time I was also eating whole grain brown rice.
It did not take long for me to see that when I ate whole brown rice and whole beans that I cooked myself at home from the whole grains and whole beans my blood sugar and weight went down the very next day. And each day I ate whole brown rice and whole beans in their natural state, cooked only with pure water, my blood sugar and weight would go down.
As soon as I ate these very same foods processed into a food product with added salt and various other additives, my weight and blood sugar would go up the very next morning. It took only one serving to observe this effect.
cuisine: a style of cooking characterized by distinctive ingredients, techniques and dishes, and usually associated with a specific philosophy, need, culture, or geographic region.
Every major cuisine in the world originated in nature.
whole-fat: a fat that is inherent in the food ingredient itself, and not pressed or extracted from a food as an isolated part.
Whole-fat is in its whole form as it occurs in Nature, with all it’s co-factors that aid digestion and utilization of the fat still intact.