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?

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, 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

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.


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
Beth Wiley Liberty Township OH I'm ready!
Vera Khule Manchester CT
Cgrisie Raines Florence,SC
krystal kantorik mt pleasant / pa
Deborah Goodnight Royse City
Ryan Shannon Vancouver/British Columbia
Susan keller San Pedro
Rene Pollard Brawley, CA
Meaghan Burnett Marvtille, NY Love this!
Stephanie Bodine wind gap,pa yes already wanted to do this
Yuen Chik Ontario
Angie Sallows Morenci, Mi
Mike Kennedy Louisville KY
Rachel M Vienna/VA
Alina Halani Toronto/Ontario
Nicole Lallier Minneapolis, MN
Sally Scharff Texas
april chapman nashville, tn
Faye Buelow Iowa
Rebecca Yaker Orlando/Florida
Kimberly Gust Greenville, Michigan This is awesome!
Mary Carter TN Minimum of one day a week
Pam Morriss Grand Island NE
Lisa Donati Gridley, CA
April Lencioni Clovis, CA

View and search the list of all 5118 awesome people!


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

385 Responses to Welcome to the 6th Annual October Unprocessed!

  1. Laura Schaller October 19, 2014 at 1:41 am #

    Love these healthy options!

  2. V Ng October 19, 2014 at 1:10 am #

    One week commitment.

  3. K October 19, 2014 at 12:50 am #


  4. vish October 18, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    i do!

  5. indirimli elektrik October 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    i will try it

  6. wilheminia October 18, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    ill do it

  7. R till October 18, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    Good idea!

  8. Twila Rowe October 18, 2014 at 5:45 am #

    Love Bob’s!

  9. Barbra Warsetsky October 18, 2014 at 5:45 am #

    Will try to be more conscious of labels and give up processed foods.

  10. lily October 18, 2014 at 3:39 am #

    like those products

  11. Bekah October 18, 2014 at 12:49 am #


  12. sunny October 18, 2014 at 12:22 am #


  13. cherie October 18, 2014 at 12:21 am #

    Gonna try this!

  14. cherie October 18, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    Gonna try this

  15. Cindy October 17, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    i will do it!!!!


    Leave a Reply