October Unprocessed 2012

October Unprocessed 2012 Logo

This morning, I posted the following tweet on Twitter:

I think it’s time we re-learn how to prepare food from scratch so we know EXACTLY what’s in it, instead of relying on packaged products.

A few hours later, I saw a tweet by Andrew Wilder of the Eating Rules blog mentioning that 5,000 (yes, 5,000!) people had already signed up for his October Unprocessed challenge.

Now in its third year, October Unprocessed is a challenge to eat only unprocessed food for the entire month.

When I saw this, I knew it was no mere coincidence. The Universe was asking me to walk my talk. Over the past two years, I’d already been switching to foodstuffs that are mostly unprocessed, but I saw the October Unprocessed challenge as an opportunity to really examine consciously what I put into my mouth.

So I signed the pledge and my intention for this month is to prepare my meals using only raw whole-food ingredients and unprocessed foods. I won’t be 100% unprocessed when I eat out as I have no idea of ensuring this, so instead I’ll minimise dining out this month.

So what is ‘unprocessed?’ Andrew’s definition of ‘unprocessed’ is:

“… any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.”

Andrew goes on to state that here’s no need to make it yourself as long as it can theoretically be made at home.

Now my definition of unprocessed is a bit more hardcore. Unprocessed to me means either a single whole-food ingredient, or a food condiment made wholly with whole-food ingredients, like soy sauce. To me, any foodstuff that comes in a box or packet and factory-made by machine is ‘processed’. In short, home-made from scratch using raw ingredients. However, if I were to use my own definition I’d be unable to use many pantry items I regularly use like tahini, nut butters, soy/almond milk as I currently lack a blender to make it at home.

So Andrew’s definition of unprocessed it is. I’ll be making exceptions for select items like puffed rice cakes, which are nearly impossible to make at home. However, these will have to be made from whole-food ingredients without any artificial or non whole-food ingredients.

If you’d like to join the October Unprocessed challenge, head over to Eating Rules for more information and to sign up. During October I’ll also be posting about what unprocessed means to me, and sharing my tips and experiences in making the switch from processed foodstuffs to unprocessed and whole foods.

And so it begins – why not join us?