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My pal Andrew is on a mission. For the third year in a row, he’s going to go through the entire month of October foregoing any and all processed foods. Sure, you say, I could go a month without eating a Twinkie. But processed foods are far more insidious than that. Even if you stop buying and eating packaged foods and make everything from scratch, it’s not a slam dunk. Put a little white sugar in your coffee? Think again. Whipping up a loaf of crusty bread with white flour? Nice try.

He’s not alone. This year some 1,500 people have signed up to partake in the challenge. And I applaud each and every one of them.

Am I? No. Why? Well, frankly, because I suck at challenges. And because I’m doing a bit of travel this month and will not always have great control over my diet. And because I’m basically lazy by nature. But I wholly endorse Andrew’s principles and do actually live the Unprocessed lifestyle probably 95% of the time by default. So I guess you could say I’m taking 95% of the challenge.

As it is, we make more or less everything from scratch, and strive to begin with basic, whole ingredients to start. We source most of that from local farms. We eat, as our friend Kate calls it, “food with food in it.” It’s made of food. Nothing else.

Mind you, I’m not above eating the occasional Dorito. I’m not made of stone.

How will you avoid processed foods in October? And beyond?

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