Eating Rules Blog Launches 4th Annual October Unprocessed Food Challenge

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Consumers participate in month-long online pledge to eat unprocessed food.

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My definition is this: unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.

What would happen if you went for an entire month without eating any processed food? That is the question food blogger Andrew Wilder asked himself four years ago. His answer was he had more energy and vitality, and did not crave salty or sugary foods. He simply felt better. What started with a few hundred online friends joining him in his healthy eating quest four year ago, has grown to over 6,000 people taking the October Unprocessed pledge in 2012. This year, Andrew is aiming to have 10,000 people challenge themselves to eat unprocessed food for the month of October, 2013. It is free to participate by going to

What foods are processed and what are not? According to Andrew, “There’s a wide range of implications in that word. My definition is this: unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients. I call it ‘The Kitchen Test.’ If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn't have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn't possibly make it yourself from its whole form, it’s processed. This doesn't mean you actually have to make this food yourself it just means that for it to be considered ‘unprocessed’ you could.”

Taking the October Unprocessed challenge does not mean doing it all by yourself. During the course of the month, participants from all across the country post tips and recipes that make eating unprocessed easy and tasty. Participants share their stories and experiences on the website. Here are some of the posts and recipes from participants of the 2012 challenge.

“October Unprocessed is an exercise in food awareness. If an entire month is too much of a commitment, that’s okay. Maybe it’s only a week or a day. Maybe you are not comfortable with my definition of ‘unprocessed.’ That’s okay too. Decide what it means to you and take the pledge on your own terms. My main goal is for consumers to become more aware of what they eat and how it affects their health.”

For more information on Andrew Wilder and October Unprocessed, and to take the pledge, go to:


Andrew Wilder is a blog tutor and author of the food blog He started blogging about healthy eating for a couple of reasons. It helps keep him on target and eating healthfully but Andrew wants his blog to help others, to create a supportive community that will be a tool for everyone to be motivated and learning, eating and living the best we possibly can. Andrew always loved eating real food long before the term “foodie” even existed, and made a conscience decision to make healthful living and eating a primary focus in his life. In early 2009 he had his “ah-ha!” moment, and started eating better and exercising regularly. It instantly started changing his life for the better, and he couldn't stop talking about it.

Following his passion, Andrew left a career in lighting design and started Eating Rules to help others find the same joy in healthful food. In October 2011, he led more than 3,000 people in October Unprocessed, all pledging to eat no processed foods whatsoever for the month. In addition to his blog, Andrew is working on several related projects, including helping to end Food Deserts in Los Angeles and bringing healthier food to a popular Boy Scout camp on Catalina Island in California. Andrew and his wife live in Santa Monica, California.

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Trina Kaye
since: 09/2008
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