I have decided to do a cooking experiment. I plan to only cook with fresh ingredients and avoid, as much as possible, anything that is processed. I am already doing this to some degree, but I want to see how long I can go without buying processed foods and rely on fresh foods and make everything myself. If my grandmother managed to cook without processed foods, why shouldn't I.
However I do recognised that there are some foods that I will still need to buy processed, but I will try to buy only those produces that have the minimal processing and free from chemicals (and not in tins):
- organic butter and not margarine
- organic milk that has not been homogenised (unfortunately I can't buy raw milk so it will still be pasteurised)
- fresh eggs
- fresh bread from the bakery if I can't make my own
- organic honey that has not been heated which kills all the goodness (I don't own bees)
- cheese - we eat lots of cheese, but generally good quality cheese
- flour - I don't have any way of grounding my own grains - but I will try and buy organic
- sugar - firstly I will try and reduce our consumption of sugar and substitute sugar with honey or maple syrup - but where I can't I will use organic sugar.
- legumes, rice and pasta - I can buy all these organic and sadly I don't own a rice paddy
However even my grandmother had to buy things like dried herbs and spices and I can't possibly make my own soya sauce, vinegar, oils etc..
As for frozen vegetables - namely peas, these aren't too bad as they have been snapped frozen and still contain their goodness, plus my little row of peas are some way to go before they start producing.
So no more cans of processed food, such as soups. Removing these from our diet not only removes foods that have been highly processed, containing high levels sodium and fat and very low levels of fibre, it also removes the possible issue of BPA (Bisphenol), a chemical that is used to line cans to protect the food from contamination and extend its shelf life. Questions are being raised about the chemical and its effect on humans. Whilst government authorities (in Australia, USA, UK and Germany) argue that the levels are acceptable (tolerable), why expose ourselves to any toxins if we can avoid them.
And we will forget about soft drinks, lollies, chips etc..
When the children where younger I did a version of this as many highly processed foods affect children with ADHD and removing them does have an effect on behaviour. Interestedly, whilst white sugars is bad for you, it is the chemicals in foods that have the most reaction for ADHD children (and adults).