Clarifying “Processed”

All attempts will be made to stay away from processed food.  The only processed food we will be eating is the kind we process on our own.

At the pub the other night, I was telling a friend about our month of “real food”.  I told him that we are tying our best to stay away processed food.  He replied that one of the hardest parts about that would be flour.  Hmmm.  Although we knew flour is processed, we didn’t think about whole-wheat flour as something we were going to stay away from.  There are certainly various levels of processed.  When I got home, I figured I had better clarify what types of processed foods we are trying to stay away from.  Here are the “processed” parameters that we came up with:

  • Stay away from high fructose corn syrup!
  • Anything with more than 5 ingredients is probably processed to a fairly high degree.  This is an interesting one, as it takes out most bread products that we have found at the store.  We are making our own bread for most of this month (trying to stay away from white flour).
  • Even if there are less than 5 ingredients, if you have no idea what one or more of them are, that’s a bad sign.  The classic example here is monosodium glutamate (MSG).  Turns out, I don’t really know what that is.  We were at the store just today and one the items on our list was peanuts, but most of them had MSG as one of the ingredients.  My wife finally found kettle roasted peanuts in the produce section that didn’t have MSG.

That should help as we move forward.  We’ll see if we have to make any more modifications as the month goes on.