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Processed food

How to avoid processed food (Opinion)

Friday, February 04, 2011 by: Aaron Turpen
Tags: processed food, nutrition, health news

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(NewsTarget) There`s a growing (and healthy) "whole foods" phenomenon taking over the nutrition world`s vocabulary. From trendy celebrities to eco-foodies to bizarre New Age dieters, the idea of getting away from processed foods is catching on. The problem is: changing your lifestyle from everyday supermarket and frozen food aisle eating to organic, natural, unprocessed foods is not necessarily easy. Especially if you don`t know where else to get your food.

The problem isn`t with understanding the new diet, but with understanding what is and what isn`t "processed." Yes, it`s obvious that donuts and white bread are processed foods. But what about your organic granola or ketchup? Is that processed or not?

Many people have many definitions for what "processed" means. In a pure sense, processed means anything that isn`t in its original form before you do something to it in your kitchen. This would mean that if you didn`t crack the wheat and barley, make the paste, roll the oats, and make that granola yourself... it`s processed.

That is a little extreme. Simpler and probably more commonly accepted amongst the more realistic of us, processed food is any food bought ready-made when it could have been made at home in a normal kitchen. Ketchup, for instance, is absurdly easy to make yourself, so buying it off the shelf is buying processed food. Of course, ketchup has a lot of great uses, so buy the cheap stuff and use it for that - you know, as a paint remover, pot scrubber, etc.

It`s amazing how many things are available at the supermarket that take less than ten minutes to make yourself at home: from real, raw, wholesome ingredients. Pickles? Veggie burgers? Real burgers? Burger buns? The sauces to go on them? All of that is very easy to make.

Even dessert can be unprocessed if you don`t mind making things that require no heavy sweeteners. This is one place where many often splurge, however, and use something other than honey as a sweetener - usually molasses. Dessert is special, after all, and not something you`re likely eating every meal or even every day.

Some foods are very hard to get unprocessed. Cow`s (and increasingly goat`s) milk, for instance, is pretty hard to come by in unprocessed (raw) form. Especially with the federal iron fist being dropped on farms who do offer it raw. Flour is another item that`s hard to get unprocessed, but if you invest in a good mill, you can remedy that.

The good news here is that if you`re interested in moving away from heavy, processed, body-killing foods, it`s a lot easier than you think. Even without going fully "raw" with your diet, you can easily knock out most of the nasties from your diet without adding much to your cost or time requirement.

To do this, you`ll need to think outside of the grocery store box. Most of us have been raised and trained to buy off the shelf at the grocery and have little or no access to food at any other source. That`s very easily changed. To start with, pretend your grocery store only sells produce and herbs/spices. Avoid all other sections of the store. Then buy only organic.

Soon enough, you`ll start thinking about how easy it would be to just grow this stuff for yourself. Then the farmer`s market season will open again and you`ll find more sources for it. Go online or check the local paper for farmer`s co-ops or food co-ops and exchanges. They`re sprouting up everywhere.

Co-Op Directory Service

Living and Raw Foods Recipes

Local Harvest

About the author

Aaron Turpen is a professional writer living in Wyoming in the USA. His blogs cover organic/sustainable living and environmental considerations (AaronsEnvironMental.com) and the science debunking mainstream medical and proving alternatives (HiddenHealthScience.com).

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