Our supermarkets, with their sterile, plastic-wrapped packages of pre-butchered meat, do an effective job of shielding us from the reality of where our food comes from. That means that the meat you’re eating may not be as unprocessed as you think it is (vegetarians, that goes for you too!). Hopefully, this post will help you walk into the grocery store with eyes wide open so you can better decide what’s right for you.
Today I want to mention a handful of other ingredients, usually used in small quantities, but collectively, they’re in a whole awful lot of the foods most people eat. Many of these are used in extremely small amounts in any given product, but over time I believe those small quantities can really add up.
In theory, at least, chocolate is one of those unprocessed foods that easily passes the test. If you knew what you were doing, you could grow cacao, harvest and ferment the beans, dry them, roast them, crack them into nibs, grind them into liquor, conch the liquor (mixing it for several hours), temper it, and then add some sugar and form it into a fabulous home-made chocolate bar. You know, in all your spare time.
Is your sugar unprocessed? There are a lot of different types of sugars out there, so here’s some more information to help you figure out where you want to draw some lines for yourself.
In today’s October Unprocessed FAQ, I’m going to try to clear up some confusion surrounding one of our most common ingredients: Flours and grains.
When people first hear of the October Unprocessed challenge, their first response is likely to be “But what about beer?! Wine?! Coffee?!” So I first tell them not to panic. Then I explain how I apply the Kitchen Test to these and a few other beverages. Some are fairly straightforward, but others have a bit of a gray area, and once again I’ll encourage you to make your own decision about where, exactly, you want to draw the line.
With October Unprocessed just a few weeks away, we need to spend a little time thinking about how to define “unprocessed.” I use The Kitchen Test, and it works well for me. Many people find it works well for them, too. But it may not fit with your definition, and that’s totally okay. In fact, I encourage disagreement and discussion, since that’s the best way for us to learn together.
Get the Official Guide to October Unprocessed! It’s a free PDF download that answers many of the most common questions about the challenge. But more than that, it’s got lots of great information on how to help you get the most from the challenge, ways to avoid common “speed bumps,” advice for specific dietary restrictions, and tons of other unprocessed goodness.