Welcome to October Unprocessed 2018!

October Unprocessed Logo
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?

Ready to take
the pledge?
Scroll down or click here!

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 — by now, more than 30,000 people have joined in.

We’ve also shared a ton of great posts each year, and this year will be no exception.

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 unprocessed?”

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.

New for 2018: Set Yourself up for Unprocessed Success!

Real Food Rescue LogoThe October Unprocessed Challenge is totally free — but if you want a complete plan for unprocessed success for the next four weeks (and beyond), check out my new Real Food Rescue program!

Filled with guidance, strategies, printable checklists & worksheets, dozens of recipes, and meal plans — this is the easiest way to have all the best resources and guidance at your disposal, helping you take control of what you eat, feel great, and transform your life.

Get $20 off the Real Food Rescue when you take the October Unprocessed pledge and purchase during September! (Once you take the pledge, I’ll email you the discount code.)

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 show 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!

If you don’t see the pledge form, please try this page instead.

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 NameLocation (City/State)Comment
Nicole Copenhagen Hoping I can stick with this!
Rita LOS ANGELES
Stacie San Antonio, Tx
Marjorie
Shirley Conifer,Co
Jenni Perth, Western Australia Great idea
Phoenix Seattle, WA
Anne Lillooet BC Ready to try with all home grown products
Frances St Albans 3rd year
Kathy Ladysmith BC
Loxley San Diego, CA
June Aurora CO
Judy Imperial Beach, CA My second time around
Diane Pasadena I did this several years ago and am ready to re-commit! Thanks for this amazing site, Andrew!
Mary Park City Utah I’m in again Andrew
Sharron Burkburnett,Texas
Julie Albuquerque NM
Marcie Woodland
Marge Stoney Creek
Tracy Bartlett
Kristy Coquitlam, BC Canada
Daphne Palmer, AK
Amy Ozark, MO
Lo Bethesda, MD I’ve taken this pledge before for a weekend, then a week and have had a good experience! We’re ready to take on all of October!
Elizabeth Bossier City. LA

View and search the list of all 895 awesome people!

 

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

35
Leave a Reply

avatar

24 Comment threads
11 Thread replies
83 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Monika Robinski
Guest
Monika Robinski

Kind of makes me feel proud. Apparently people find it hard to do , what I do every day. Cooking with simple ingredients. Good luck!

Shunda
Guest
Shunda

Thanks the average person myself included eats so many processed foods without a second thought. And to walk away from them are hard especially with children processed foods are easy to grab and appeal a great deal to tiny people.

JC Richtofen
Guest

Fat is not bad for you in moderation. In fact, fats are needed as part of a healthy diet. We need to educate people better about fats and what they are and how they are needed.

Kenani Y. Gertner
Guest
Kenani Y. Gertner

I have had a great deal of physical problems, and a doctor actually caused me diabetes, so I try harder to eat healthier, but I’ve always started with wholesome, unprossed goods, which I cook from scratch, no boxed refuse for my family.

hanna beck
Guest
hanna beck

Looking forward to creating delicious whole-grain meals with fresh in season produce! I love Bob’s Red Mill, and I love knowing what is in all the food I eat!

Darlene Latshaw
Guest

Can’t wait to meet some of you in person at the Natural Products Expo in Baltimore the end of September!

Pauline
Guest
Pauline

I think the $5 bento box is the most exciting for me

Jacqueline Davis
Guest

October 2016, just need to stay focused on yes and no foods! I’d make a muffin in a mug and my waffles. Yum!!

Tmmaceira
Guest
Tmmaceira

Looking forward to joining the challenge