What Counts as Unprocessed Food??

I recently posed this same question on my facebook page, and the response was that a lot of the things that we think of as healthy foods are technically processed.  This includes: tea, coffee, whole wheat products, pasta, wine, beer, chocolate, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and almost all of the meat that Americans eat, and farm raised fish among other things.  So to go completely unprocessed you would be very very limited and it would really be extremely difficult to be well nourished (correct me if I am wrong on that please).

We wanted to go on an “unprocessed” diet for 6 weeks, following the 6 weeks @ 1200 cals which was full of packaged and very processed foods, but I am not willing to give up things like coffee, dairy, alcohol, etc, so we had to come up with our own definition of what it means to have an unprocessed diet.  By unprocessed I mean something close to what others have called Real food, or Whole food, or Slow food.  Real food is defined by the RealFoodChallenge as ” food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth.  It is a food system–from seed to plate–that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability.”  Whole food, a bit more vague is defined as foods that are unprocessed or unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as sugar, salt, or fat. Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains; fruits and vegetables; unprocessed meat, poultry, and fish; and non-homogenized milk.”  And Slow Food tends to be defined in even more vague terms is said to be “an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.”

On the blog Civil Eats Andrew Wilder defines unprocessed food as  says, “any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with readily available, whole-food ingredients.” Since I dont want to give up everything and I am willing and actually eager to start making more things from scratch at home, I think that this definition is the best way for me to look at this unprocessed diet.

So let the unprocessed eating begin, here are some pics of our first trip to the Beverly Hills Farmers Market:

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