Thursday, September 29, 2011

October Unprocessed

For a minute there, I really thought I was off the hook until next summer.

And then and I had to go and read a Tweet mentioning something called October Unprocessed, and I just couldn't stop myself from finding out more.

Andrew Wilder's blog Eating Rules is about healthy, unprocessed foods and the positive impact they can have on our health and the environment.  (His last name is fitting, don't you think?)  As recently as 2009, he got the idea to take the month of October off from processed foods, which he defines as foods that contain ingredients you wouldn't or couldn't find in an average kitchen.  In the third year of the movement, he now has over 1,200 people signed up to participate!  Is it possible that the future holds the same for Corn-Free July??

Needless to say, I signed up too, and for some reason I thought it would be easy.  I figured eating unprocessed was pretty much the same as eating corn-free; I already knew all the rules.  It would be a piece of cake.  Well, not literally a piece of cake.  Unless I went out of my way to make the cake with whole-grain flour and pasture-fed butter and...oh no.

It all came back.  That feeling of being lost at the grocery store, the over-thinking everything.  I was back to reading all the labels, to rejecting entire meal ideas because of one key ingredient I couldn't use.  And then, of course, there were the debates with myself over gray areas- and there are many more shades of gray surrounding the term "unprocessed" than the term "corn".

But it's Rosh Hashanah today, and just because I'm not Jewish doesn't mean I can't appreciate the idea of a new beginning.  I can't help feeling like the crispness in the air and the hint of orange coming into the leaves are challenging me to something a little more important than coming up with a brilliant Halloween costume.  If anyone else is participating in this, leave me a comment with your favorite unprocessed recipe!  I'll need some inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. I often manage to eat unprocessed just by buying whole foods: vegetables, grains, etc. Stirfrys are easy enough if you use whole veggies.

    My favorite dish this summer was ratatouille. It might be a bit late for it, but you might still be able to get the last of the summer veggies. The simple way is to stirfry the summer veggies (primarily eggplant, zucchini and/or yellow squash, onions, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes) and let it get pretty stewy, then add fresh Italian herbs (basil, oregano, whatever else smells good). Serve over a pasta or whole grain... whatever's less processed. ;) Add parmesan cheese after for extra yumminess.

    The complex way to make it is to grill all of the veggies first to get that awesome charred flavor and then stirfry it. If you have the time I totally recommend it.

    A variation I've done is used sausage. You could probably find some other source of protein that isn't processed, or not. I've made it with and without meat and it's delicious regardless.

    Let me know if you try it! Also, let me know if I've lied to you and in fact some of this stuff is processed... I'll be heartbroken, but I need to know the truth.