Definition of Processed for me-- does it look like it came from a whole food?? Or has it been, chopped up, separated, additives added, etc until it is not recognizable.
Bottom line , for me, would a human have eaten it 150 years ago??
American cheese v. cheddar
gatorade v. water
Most processed meats have nitrates added; adding nitrates is a new thing, historically. More non- nitrated added products becoming available.
I look for recipes where I can use straight from the hoof or straight from the garden as a baseline now. Otherwise, I ask myself " what has been done to it?" And check it out.
Aged meats increase the histamines; for most, not a problem, for others it is; also regulations may require adding nitrates.
Ya, I do eat some processed foods anyway!!