A Real Food Challenge: October Unprocessed

Reader Contribution by Staff
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October is being promoted by many food bloggers and food activists as October Unprocessed, meaning participants pledge to avoid eating processed foods for the entire month. I decided, why not? We’ve written many articles on how creating your own foods saves money and is beneficial to your health, and this seems like a great opportunity to really test them out. 

The rules of what qualifies as a processed food are actually quite lenient. You can still buy and eat food in a package as long as all the ingredients pass the “kitchen test,” meaning you could reasonably have the ability to create the ingredients and the final product in your kitchen. A few exceptions can be established, which for me will include baking powder, baking soda, yeast, spices, and a handful of other basic cooking ingredients.

This test leaves many staple items available to participants, but if I know MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers like I think I do, this isn’t really that much of a challenge for a group of DIY, self-sufficient-minded folks. I’m looking forward to using this month as a way to try new ways to implement homemade version of products I use without thinking much about it. Ever made your own condiments like ketchup, mayo or mustard? How long have you been considering being bread self-reliant, or contemplating homemade mozzarella? What a great opportunity to improve — and share with others — cheese-, pasta-, bread- and any other foodstuff-making skills. Especially with Halloween at the end of the month, coming up with homemade versions of common sugary, store-bought concoctions should prove exciting and, undoubtedly, tasty.

The full month kicks off tomorrow, so in the hopes that others out there (you!) will join in, here’s a few recipes from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS archives to help you get started on your month of tasty, homemade eats. 

Homemade Bread: Truly Easy and Delicious

How to Make Butter and Buttermilk

Homemade Cottage Cheese

Easy Cheesy: 4 Super-Simple Recipes

Fabulous Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

How to Make Mustard

How to Make Your Own Beer

Recipes for Real, Delicious Homemade Ice Cream

Jennifer Kongsis the Managing Editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine. When she’s not working at the magazine, she’s likely working in her garden, on the local running trails or in her kitchen instead. You can find Jennifer on Twitteror .