Welcome to the 6th Annual October Unprocessed!

October Unprocessed“Cubes” by Lernert & Sander, used with permission

Way back in October of 2009, I was struck by a simple idea:

What would happen if I went for an entire month without eating any processed foods?

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This question would have been laughable (or even nonsensical) just a few decades ago. Nowadays, it seems that almost every food that comes with an ingredients list on it is likely to be laden with extra sugar, fat, and salt. And preservatives. And flavorings. And artificial colors.

I’m not okay with this.

So I tried it, along with a few good friends: A month of no processed foods.

It was revelatory. My expectations and sense of taste were re-calibrated. I started to identify individual ingredients in the foods I ate. I didn’t crave those salty snacks. I found myself often in the kitchen, excited to see what I could cook next. Above all, I simply felt better.

We took turns hosting small dinner parties, and shared our stories and experiences. It brought us closer together. Funny how real food does that.

In 2010, I decided to try it again, in a bigger way. I had started Eating Rules just a few months before, and I reached out to my fellow foodies, bloggers, and friends, and issued the challenge again. By the end of October, 415 people took the pledge and got this movement really started. We’ve grown each year since then, and last year over 22,000 people joined in!

We’ve also shared a ton of guest posts each year, and this year will be no exception. (Want to read previous years’ guest posts? Here they are: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014)

Although it’s a lot of work to make this project happen, I want to do it again. It’s just too important not to. And I want to share this experience with as many people as possible. Not just my experience, but our experience.

Together, let’s see how many people we can get to eat no processed foods whatsoever during the month of October.

And then let’s see what happens.

The “Kitchen Test” Definition

The first question I’m always asked is, “How do you define processed?”

Obviously there’s a wide range of implications in that word, and we will probably each define it slightly differently for ourselves. My definition is this:

Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.

I call it “The Kitchen Test.” If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed.

It doesn’t mean you actually have to make it yourself, it just means that for it to be considered “unprocessed” that you could, in theory, do so.

Here’s a more in-depth discussion of the definition, and we’ll continue exploring it as October approaches.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Bob's Red Mill Logo
MightyNest

I’m thrilled to announce that Bob’s Red Mill and MightyNest are sponsoring this year’s challenge! I’m a huge fan of both companies, and they’re a perfect fit for the October Unprocessed.

Bob’s Red Mill makes wholesome and delicious real food, and MightyNest offers a wide variety of quality products for healthy living. I believe they are both companies that truly make the world a better place, and I’m proud to have their support.

Their sponsorship is a huge help in making October Unprocessed happen again this year — thank you, Bob’s Red Mill and MightyNest!

Awesome Bonus Freebie!

Bee's WrapOnce you take the October Unprocessed pledge, I’ll send you a code so you can get your first month of The MightyFix for free! This is a new service from MightyNest where they ship an amazing product to you that helps your family live healthier each month.

Your first month’s shipment will be two full-size pieces of Bee’s Wrap reusable storage wrap — absolutely free! (If you were to buy this at full price, it would be $19.05 with shipping.) I’ve been using Bee’s Wrap for awhile now, and just love the stuff… So after you take the pledge below, look for an email from me with instructions on how to take advantage of this sweet deal.

Let’s Do It!

Commit to eating no processed foods during the month of October by signing your name below.

This is an exercise in awareness. If an entire month is too much of a commitment, that’s okay. Maybe it’s only a week? Maybe just a day? Sign the pledge, and indicate your support!

Maybe you’re not comfortable with my definition of “unprocessed.” That’s okay, too. Decide what it means to you and take the pledge on your terms.

Need an exception? Sure, no problem. Just make sure it’s a deliberate choice, not just because of a habit.

Whatever your level of commitment (even if it’s for just one day, please sign the pledge), and discover how it changes you, your family, your community, and the world.

Andrew

Take the October Unprocessed Pledge Here!

By taking the pledge you’ll also receive new blog posts by email; you can unsubscribe anytime–no hard feelings! Of course, your email address will never be shared or displayed publicly.

The following people have taken the pledge:

First NameLast NameLocation (City/State)Comment
Mei Caskey Italy, Gambassi Terme Ensure that your purchased music is there too (it could be hidden in Preferences > Store > Show iTunes in the Cloud Purchases”). That's, some of the energy is converted into warmth energy at such a level that it can't be further employed in useful work.
gtxkhjma xcctupwt 1 1
Leatha Simons Canada, Sudbury
Will Leidig France, Gap The textured plastic back again panel, while exceptional for grip, is at odds with the rest of the handset, looking awkward with its dimpled matte white. You'll be switched to a simplified grayscale interface with usage of limited apps, And what can you e
Courtney H Utah
Audry Ballinger United Kingdom, Fallgate The back and sides of the telephone are made of aluminum, while the entrance is covered in Gorilla Glass 4 with plastic material underneath. Sense 7 takes a few page out of Cyanogen's book, Please be aware: only the lowest tariffs and main systems are sho
Jacqueline Twopeny Great Britain, Tarbat Ho. The notice Pro has great bass and is normally more natural-sounding but it can't hit the treble perfectly. Like the video camera, the meagre battery has been given the best opportunity to shine with the new Lollipop update. It will keep the latest versio
Alexandrina Mann London
Stephanie Owens Houston, TX Looking forward to it!
Jenasa Staples Maine I try to do this pledge everyday!
Meredith Gallegos st. augustine
Rina S Rockledge/FL
Liss Spinardi Capelle Aan Den Ijssel
Stephanie Stiavetti Oakland CA
Jessica Pelote France
Shayna Gonzales Waterville, OH I feel so much better when I eat unprocessed, it's so bad for you!
Shelby Reilly North haven
carlos mago Caracas Everything is under discussion these days... Unprocessed food... is it the same to say Natural food?... no chemical ingredients nor preservatives or something else... like eating an apple directly from the tree which hasn´t been spread with toxic... or a
Jamie Velasquez Hilo, HI Yay
Irina Albanell Sais Barcelona
Doug Doo Warner Robins, Ga
Elizabeth Renneisen Chattanooga, TN I'm going for Feb 29-March 25!
Abbi Gayle California yes, do it...
Belinda Dillback Evansville, IN October??? Should be March
JIll Upchurch Madison, MS

View and search the list of all 5531 awesome people!

 

You can leave a comment below, but if you want to take the pledge, please fill out the form above! 

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244 Comments on "Welcome to the 6th Annual October Unprocessed!"

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Iris Rice
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Iris Rice
2 years 18 days ago

Looking forward to the challenge!I will need support. This is my first time going unprocessed. I do love a challenge. Looking forward to seeing great recipes…. #Unprocessed

Midge
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Midge
1 year 11 months ago

I’m so excited to participate in this again this year. I believe this would be my fourth year doing it. I did fairly well last year, and hope to repeat that this year. Except I had already planned one cheat day LOL. I’ll do my absolute best for the other 30 day. I hope a lot more participate this year. Thanks for starting this challenge, Andrew.

maggie
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maggie
1 year 11 months ago

where is the coupon i”m solo ready

Snjezana
Guest
Snjezana
1 year 11 months ago

Thank you for doing October Unprocessed again this year. This is my second year and thanks to your web site I learned about Red Mill and other grains. I learned to make my own bread and tortillas. It is hard (takes time) but once you start it is hard to stop because food tastes so much better!

Jo-Ann
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Jo-Ann
1 year 11 months ago

My third year and excited to pledge for 2014 !! Thanks Adrew for all your effort !!

Colleen
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Colleen
1 year 11 months ago

Andrew, I do not see the sharing buttons on https://eatingrules.com/october-unprocessed-2014/thanks/ to be able to share on Facebook with my friends. Can you help me out?

Barbara
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Barbara
1 year 11 months ago

Sadly, I only made it halfway through the month last year. I’m going to prepare ahead of time this year 🙂

Paula
Guest
Paula
1 year 11 months ago

I’ve been moving my family towards unprocessed food for a while now. They are all older teenagers so hopefully they’ll take it into adulthood.
This challenge will make me get more serious and clear some more sugar from my diet. Damn you chocolate!!!

Novak
Guest
Novak
1 year 11 months ago

Tried twice now and coupons are not being emailed to me. Checked spam, and tried two different email addresses. Please advise.

Novak
Guest
Novak
1 year 11 months ago

Never mind. It just now showed up on my second email. 🙂

Taylor S.
Guest
Taylor S.
1 year 11 months ago

Signed up last night but do not see an e-mail in my inbox or my junk folder

Presbytera Mary Zubricky
Guest
Presbytera Mary Zubricky
1 year 11 months ago

I love this idea. I will try it,

Patricia Flowers
Guest
Patricia Flowers
1 year 11 months ago

WHERE ARE THE COUPONS?

Kristy Foster
Guest
Kristy Foster
1 year 11 months ago

This will be my 4th year, taking the OU challenge. Really excited for this year as it’s my first year that I will not have to detox from Diet sodas. 2011, I made it 9 months. 2012, I made it 6 months. I am still Diet soda free from last years challenge. So happy I don’t have to go through the headaches and other detox symptoms this time around! LOL at all the coupon comments. Not sure if I got mine or not. I will get back to you on that ;-). Will there be a new Facebook group for 2014? Or are we staying on the 2013 group? Love the new APP? Thanks for putting this together. It helps so many people.

Michele
Guest
Michele
1 year 11 months ago

Are spaghetti, noodles, cheeses, breads considered processed foods with this challenge???

Tari Pie
Guest
Tari Pie
1 year 11 months ago

Always read the ingredients. If the ingredients are something you normally have in your kitchen, then it is okay. Watch out for hidden items. Like “spices.”

carol
Guest
carol
1 year 11 months ago

I recently discovered Miracle Noodles, which are zero calories, soy free, gluten free, cholesterol free. vegan and non GMO. I like them! They are made from the root of a plant called the Konnyaku Imo. It is only made of soluble fiber. And like tofu it takes on the flavors of any sauce or dish you pair with them.
If these are considered processed I will make them my one exception.

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