In its original sense "raw" meant "unfinished." We speak of "raw materials" and the "finished product." It originally had no reference to cooked or uncooked foods. Custom, however, or usage makes language and since usage now sanctifies the use of the word "raw" in the sense of "uncooked" we shall accept this usage and so employ the word in this book. But let us keep ever in our minds that nature finishes or perfects her foods and they require no fixing to complete them.

"Foods that have been ripened and brought to a state of maturity by nature cannot consistently be called 'raw'," says Eugene Christian. "Think of applying this ugly word to a luscious bunch of purple grapes swinging to and fro in bowers of green. Or to a hickory nut that has ripened in the top of a mountain tree, whose life-giving properties have been filtered through a hundred feet of clean, white wood. Or to a delicious apple, or peach, reddened, ripened and finished--nursed in the lap of nature, rocked in her ethereal cradle, and kissed from the odorous blossoms of infancy on to maturity by the soft beams of the life-giving sun, ready for use; they are perfect, they are not raw, they are done; and when they are cooked they are undone. They are as far removed from their finished condition as if they were green or but half grown."