Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble
About the Book
Megan Kimble was a twenty-six-year-old student living in a small apartment, without even a garden plot to her name. But she knew that she cared about where her 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 as a busy, broke city-dweller.
What makes a food processed? The answer to that question went far beyond cutting out snacks and sodas, and led to a fascinating journey through America’s food system, past and present. Megan learned how wheat became white, how fresh produce was globalized, and how animals were industrialized. But she also discovered that in daily life—conjuring meals while balancing a job, social life, and even dating—our edible futures are 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.
What factors in Megan’s decision to go unprocessed resonated with you? After reading the book, did you feel inspired to try to eat unprocessed or differently? What moments in Megan’s journey inspired you? What choices might you make differently?
What do you think would be the hardest thing about going unprocessed? Which food group seemed hardest for Megan to unprocess, and are there any foods you simply cannot imagine going without?
Megan writes about how consumer dollars affect the food system at large, through the “multiplier effect.” Imagine how dollars might reverberate in your own community. How might you change your own spending habits?
People often think that eating organic or unprocessed is more expensive than eating conventional or processed food. Are you convinced by Megan’s argument that fresh, unprocessed foods don’t necessarily have to cost more?
Unprocessed explores many ways in which our food system is flawed. If you could change one process in our food supply chains after reading this book, what would it be?
For ideas on unprocessed book club snacks, head over here.