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Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of…

Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food

by Megan Kimble

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I loved this book! I picked it up to read a personal story of moving to eating a more healthy diet. The personal story is interesting, fun to read, entertaining, and very, very well written. A joy to read!

But I got much more than that out of the book. I received an education from the author interwoven in and among all of her personal story details. Of course I've read some of those other healthy eating and food source books, but Megan Kimble incorporates extensive research and relevant details. This book feels like sitting down with a friend that is sharing what she has learned. In this case, the friend is very knowledgeable, thoughtful, and is an excellent writer.

This is an important book as well. Understanding our food supply and how emotions, physical needs, nutrition, and other personal factors interact is important to me. ( )
  deldevries | Jan 30, 2016 |
Very well-written and consistently interesting and informative. If you have an interest in eating a more healthful diet and supporting local food producers, you will find this book inspiring. On one level, it's just not that hard to buy a lot of produce, grains, and beans and then eat them, so she doesn't belabor her feelings of deprivation. (Compare "A Year of No Sugar," for example.) She does try things like canning, grinding her own wheat, and attempting to make almond butter, providing good insight into which of these sorts of things might be practical for the reader. She also tries to eat a healthy produce-based diet on the amount given to SNAP recipients, and she totals up her spending on food for the year - as a real cheapskate I appreciated this financial angle. This book does not come across as entirely a stunt like so many books about doing something weird for a year to get a book contract out of it. Well done, Megan. ( )
  Amniot | Sep 27, 2015 |
I was looking forward to reading this book and gleaming tons of great information about unprocessed foods. For a while now, I have been wanting to move away from processed foods, even though they are quick for meals. I have slowly been making the move. However not to really take anything away from the author but I found this book to be really wordy. I got to chapter 4 and put the book down. I realized when I got ready to pick it up again that I could not process what I had read in the first 4 chapters. This is because the author seemed to put a lot of focus on other things besides the food process and it was not that interesting to me. So I was really just skimming the first 4 chapters. The only parts that were really of interest to me were the "Unprocess Yourself" sections at the back of the book. These sections really told you all you needed to know about Unprocessed foods broken out in sections like Wheat and Sugar.. However not sure how much I will try the recipes or suggestions that the author has. They seem really time consuming. At least I have an idea of what unprocessed food is and how to shop for it. ( )
  Cherylk | Sep 18, 2015 |
Unprocessed was different from what I expected. I thought I would be reading a book that was more like Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and learn about what it takes on a daily basis to move from eating processed to unprocessed food. How exactly did she do that? What did it take? What are the steps? Yet, in the end I learned a tremendous amount about our food supply, what actually makes a food unprocessed and came to respect her research and detail-driven narrative. I also enjoyed her easy-going tone, and practical and heartfelt advice and her ability to make the political connections to how our food supply has become so unhealthy. My only objection with the book is that I do not think it should be used as a model of how a poor person can survive on SNAP or without means. Ms Kimble is not poor, she is temporarily broke with all of her connections, networks, privilege and access to possibilities in the future. Instead of using this as a can-do" model for poor people whose day to days lives are unimaginably hard (food deserts, lack of transportation, medical care etc), we could use our political will to ensure that nobody should be asked to live on $4 a day per person and that everybody deserves access to healthy, yummy, unprocessed food just like Ms. Kimble.

Thank you to Edelweiss for allowing me to review this book for an honest opinion. ( )
  Karen59 | Aug 1, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062382462, Paperback)

In the tradition of Michael Pollan’s bestselling In Defense of Food comes this remarkable chronicle, from a founding editor of Edible Baja Arizona, of a young woman’s year-long journey of eating only whole, unprocessed foods—intertwined with a journalistic exploration of what “unprocessed” really means, why it matters, and how to afford it.

In January of 2012, Megan Kimble was a twenty-six-year-old living in a small apartment without even a garden plot to her name. But she cared about where food came from, how it was made, and what it did to her body: so she decided to go an entire year without eating processed foods. Unprocessed is the narrative of Megan’s extraordinary year, in which she milled wheat, extracted salt from the sea, milked a goat, slaughtered a sheep, and more—all while earning an income that fell well below the federal poverty line.

What makes a food processed? As Megan would soon realize, the answer to that question went far beyond cutting out snacks and sodas, and became a fascinating journey through America’s food system, past and present. She learned how wheat became white; how fresh produce was globalized and animals industrialized. But she also discovered that in daily life, as she attempted to balance her project with a normal social life—which included dating—the question of what made a food processed was inextricably tied to gender and economy, politics and money, work and play.

Backed by extensive research and wide-ranging interviews—and including tips on how to ditch processed food and transition to a real-food lifestyle—Unprocessed offers provocative insights not only on the process of food, but also the processes that shape our habits, communities, and day-to-day lives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 09 Jul 2015 05:06:55 -0400)

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