October Unprocessed Challenge

On this 1st day of October, we start a fresh challenge – the October Unprocessed Challenge. It’s a challenge invented by Andrew Wilder inspiring people to go a month without eating any processed food. We think it’s a clever challenge that sends us on a journey to re-discover the rich flavour and taste of real food and to re-connect with the true value of homemade and homegrown food.

While both of us might be dietitians and foodies that believe in and eat real food, even we sometimes fall into not-so-healthy habits and need to reflect upon what it means to eat healthfully in this highly processed food world.

I mean what is food anyway?

In our current setting, I think the true meaning of food has been lost. Food is seen as a means to energy and specific nutrients like omega-3s and potassium. In trying to perfect our outer beauty, we tend to restrict food and develop an unhealthy food and eating relationship that is full of guilt. In a complex world of convenience, short-cuts, supplements and processed food, we get caught up in the little details about what food does or doesn’t provide instead of the bold picture of what food brings to our lives.

We believe that food is more than its single nutrients. It’s rich in meaning and rooted in our culture and historical human existence. Food is a human right that has ethical and moral implications. It is the hub of our social interaction, creates family traditions and connections. Food is hunger, enjoyment and evokes all of our senses. Food includes everything from growing, preparing, cooking and the act of eating. Food and cooking is about giving and the act of love and caring. Food enriches our lives in so many ways that reach far beyond the basics of nutrient nourishment. And there’s nothing like an unprocessed challenge to help us realize its potential and importance in our everyday health, life meaning and self-worth.

We’ve got a host of brilliant ideas to share with you this unprocessed month so stay tuned. If you’d like to learn how to make something specific from scratch, let us know and we’ll tackle the challenge and share our results with you. Or join us in our journey and tackle the challenge in some form, whether it be a day, a week or even the whole month. Get unprocessed!

In taking on this challenge, Andrew recommends a “Kitchen Test” definition for unprocessed (so we’re all on the same page on what processed means):

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

We’re planning to follow this same guideline in our recipes and meal ideas that we’ll share. For more information about October Unprocessed, be sure to visit Andrew’s Eating Rules website.

Three Cheers for Real Food!

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