Healthy Living on September 26, 2011 by

October Unprocessed 2011 {Giveaway}

It’s hard to believe that October is right around the corner, but it is. Which means it’s time, once again, for October Unprocessed. Andrew of Eating Rules has thrown down the gauntlet- are you ready to pick it up and take his challenge?

To go a month without eating any processed foods.

Some of us at the mill took the challenge last year and it was far more challenging (ha!) than I originally envisioned. Turns out it gets pretty sticky when trying to define processed foods and I’ve borrowed (liberally) from Andrew here to explain what unprocessed means.

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

Andrew calls this the “The Kitchen Test.” Could you make this item in your kitchen? Can you identify and pronounce all of the ingredients? If the answer is no, the food in question likely falls on the side of processed.

It gets even stickier when you start thinking about things like white flour and white sugar- both processed foods that probably don’t pass the test. However, a whole month of not eating white flour (we commend you if you can make it) sounds near impossible when you start thinking about trying to eat out at all during the month. The key of this challenge is thinking about food in a new way- being conscious of what comprises the food you eat—not trying to kill yourself being perfect. White sugar might just sneak in one day by accident, but if you can consciously understand what is in your food, you win.

There is no right or wrong way to play this game and only you know how seriously you’re taking it. Andrew allows that some mistakes will happen and some deliberate choices to eat a processed food are ok- as long as they are deliberate and not mindless.


We challenge you to join us in October Unprocessed. I’m giving away four gift packs—that means four lucky winners. Each winner will get to select ANY four Bob’s Red Mill® brand products of their choosing. By ANY, we mean small prepacked items, in other words, not a 25 lb bag.

How to enter:

There is only one way to be entered and only one entry per person. Head over and take Andrew’s pledge. Then, report back to us here and let us know that you took the challenge in the comments section on this blog post. I will select the four winners from all who take the challenge (and tell us about it) by 11:59 pm on 9/30/11.

10-5-11: UPDATE:

The winners of our giveaway are:

  • Nicole Callen
  • Melissa Hudson-Gant
  • Christopher Sorel
  • Abby (abbylizzy)

Congrats to our winners and thank you to everyone who took the pledge for October Unprocessed! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Good luck!


Christopher Sorel says:

I took the pledge and almost there in normal life. I have been weeding out the processed food and making my own crackers for instance. Homemade taste so much better and once you make some whole wheat pop tarts the box sits in the cupboard and kids never want them.

Danita Ausness says:

We’re going to try, with 4 kids, they may not like it, but it’s better for them. I’ve been baking most of their school snacks this year anyways!

Alix says:

I took the pledge!

kat says:

We’ve been doing this for the past few months ourselves! Weeding out processed and replacing with homemade. I will be taking this pledge.

Tonya Payne says:

Watch out for the white flour.

Jessica says:

I took the pledge! As I mentioned there, my family is on an extremely limited budget; however, I’m trying to wean us off the pre-processed crap we normally eat and this is the perfect tipping point to make a real push – and get the husband in on the action, too.

Sarah Frank says:

Several HealthCorps Coordinators and I have taken the pledge to eat unprocessed for all of October! Check out our organization: We work as educators and mentors in high schools all over the country to promote healthy lifestyle choices. My students will be learning about October Unprocessed, too!

Amber K says:

I took the pledge. Feeling better already. 🙂

I took the challenge and subscribe to this philosophy daily!

Eszter says:

We took the pledge. The biggest challenge looming over us is skipping sausages, hot dogs and cold cuts. Maybe experiencing with new grains can take the pain from trying?

Andronicus L. says:

I took the pledge!

Pagan O. says:

I’ve taken the pledge! This is very exciting because I also cook for my parents and they LOVE their processed food. -_-

Janet Foster says:

I’ve already signed up. Can’t wait.

Mindy says:

I took the pledge! I’ve been off processed food for more than a year, and it’s amazing the level of energy (not to mention the number of pounds shed) acquired by cutting out processed foods.

Melissa Hudson-Gant says:

Took the pledge!

Rebecca says:

I would not consider flour and sugar to be processed, as such, not in the chemical-long-list-of-additives-sense. Nor would I chose to spend my time grinding my own, that means less time actually baking or cooking them.
Processed is chemicals and additives for me and that is where I will take the pledge, to not use chemically processed foods or foods with additives.

In other words, I pledge to cook from scratch this month.

Karen says:

I took the challenge!

Beth says:

Just took the pledge. Really excited about October!

Kristi P. says:

I just took the unprocessed pledge for the month of October. This is a good time to take this pledge, with all the fresh. local produce and fruit available right now.

Suzanne says:

I signed up! I love eating whole foods!

Joanna B. says:

I took the pledge! So excited!

Terri Wallace says:

Our family already gave up white flour (thanks, Celiac disease) and had to give up a lot of processed foods (thanks, to the seventeen food allergies and eosinophlic esophogitis). But we have yet to conquer that dreaded foe…PROCESSED SUGAR! Hope to win, because the food budget to make every single thing you put in your mouth at home can be staggering. Processed food may be cheap, but the “cost” is too high. We would not be able to manage without Bob’s!!!

Marty says:

As one who makes 3 batches of yogurt a week and all of my own doughs and baked goods I’m in! My husband cannot comprehend how I’ve made it this far(50+ yrs.) and have never had a chicken nugget, a “hamburger assistant” meal, or a toaster pastry. He thinks my parents should be charged with child abuse for raising me w.o. such nonsense food. Hah!

I took the pledge! I’ve given up a lot of processed foods already, but I can definitely make some improvements!

Tamara says:

We have been doing this since July 4, 2011 my husband and I have both lost 40 lbs. Now I am driving down on October 7th to spend my birthday having a tour of the mill

Jamie Schull says:

Love it! What a great motivator for us SAD Americans 🙂 I am mostly eating this way now with 5 kids and a Husband and we feel so much better for it!

Nicole Callen says:

I am going to try this challenge!

Cindy @bobisyellow says:

I took the pledge! looking forward to losing a few pounds on the way!

Taylor Ronne says:

I took the pledge! Going to make me one of the fastest triathletes for collegiate nationals this year! GO RAMS! CSU TRIATHLON!!!!

Vicky says:

I took the pledge! As I said on Eating Rules, I will try to utilize the farmer’s market even more than usual in October to create healthy snacks. I’ve been wanting to try kale chips, and I love toasted pumpkin seeds. We already eat a wide variety of Bob’s Red Mill’s whole grain flours (as well as whole grain pasta), since my husband has a sensitivity to wheat. I think our downfall w/r/t processed foods are desserts and snack.s This will be a push to cut back on those kinds of things and all their added sugar.

I pledged!! Every month should be unprocessed month! Now’s my (added) motivation to use all the GREAT Bob’s Red Mill products to make a Gluten Free pasta from scratch!

I eat very little processed foods right now. I look forward to the challenge of going 100% process free in October. I am hoping to continue that way of eating.

I signed the pledge with our family 🙂

Emily M says:

I took the pledge 🙂

Rachel says:

I took the pledge to be Unprocessed in October! 🙂

Jenn says:

I took the pledge, and am excited to see where the month takes me!

Jamie Cavaner says:

My husband and I have signed up for the CHALLENGE! Thank you!

Nicole T says:

I took the pledge, this is going to be fun!

Jeanne says:

I took the pledge! We’ve been eating mostly unprocessed food for a while now, but I’m excited for the challenge to get rid of the last few exceptions!

Jeanette says:

I took the pledge!

ed b says:

I’m going to take this challenge

Tammy Millett says:

I took the pledge. This is something I keep saying I need to do. Nows the time!

Abby says:

Taking the challenge! Due to major health issues over the past six months and a diagnosis of severe food allergies, I think this may be just what I need!

Denise M says:

I took the pledge for me, my husband and our 1 year old daughter

I took the pledge! This is perfect timing for me; I’ve been ready to buckle down and eat cleaner for awhile. Thanks for the push!

Chris says:

I took the pledge

Jenna Carodiskey-Wiebe says:

Took the pledge! I really think my only challenge will be potato chips.

Jess G. says:

I took the pledge. going to do the best that I can.

Danielle B says:

Perfect timing! I was just about to do this for the next week, anyway. Now I’ll make it a month and feel inspired by being in great company!

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