This week, I’m supposed to start a fitness challenge that includes a diet regimen designed to cut out carbs and as many processed foods as possible. When you think about it, though, processed foods are a part of everyday American life. How am I supposed to avoid that?
I kid you not, just as I was fretting about my limited options, chef Goran Streng of Tango Contemporary Cafe pinged me on Facebook: “I am doing a processed-food-free month in October, and I am challenging my guests to join me. I just want to create some awareness of what people eat, and show that we serve real, wholesome, fresh food.”
Streng had gone home to Finland for a visit, and brought his children, who are old enough to understand the qualities of whole, fresh food. Every day as they prepared their meals, they would pull ingredients from the garden as needed, get freshly baked goods or buy fresh foods from the market. They noted that the quality of their meals were exponentially better without preservatives, and came away feeling healthier, as well.
When he came back to Hawaii, Streng looked at his own restaurant menu and realized that there were only a few items that are processed, so he decided to challenge himself to eat only unprocessed foods for a whole month … and invite his customers to do the same. “I’ll be offering substitutes for the few processed foods I serve, like breakfast sausage, with fresh fish or braised beef. Even our condiments are home made, like the ketchup, mayonnaise and strawberry poha jam.”
Today through October 31, you can challenge yourself to eat unprocessed foods, and Tango will have menus to accommodate that challenge. Click here to see their breakfast menu, and click here to see their lunch menu. Here’s a peek at some of the items you can find for breakfast:
Streng explains the philosophy behind this unprocessed food challenge and menu: