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USDA Adds Nutrition Labels to Raw Meat

March marks the start of nutrition labels for raw meat and poultry. The new USDA rule states that nutrition information must be made available for most ground meat and ground poultry and for popular cuts of the two.

Previously, the USDA only required nutrition labels on meat that had added ingredients like stuffing or a marinade sauce. Now, all ground meat and poultry must carry a label. Along with ground meat 40 popular cuts will also be required to post a label either on the product or on a nearby chart. Some of those cuts include beef porterhouse steaks, chicken breasts, and pork chops.

The labels will provide the calorie and fat content of the meat. If the product shows a percentage of lean meat, it must also include the percentage of fat.

The labels do not have to include amount of trans fat though. This is not a requirement as the USDA estimated that nearly 80 percent of all nutrition labels list trans fat voluntarily.

There is an exception to the new labeling rule. Small meat grinding businesses are exempt. As long as the business provides lean and fat content information and makes no other nutrition claims on the package, they do not have to provide the other content in a label.

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Starbucks Trades in Java for Juice in 2012

Starbucks has closed a $30 million dollar deal with Evolution Fresh to launch a chain of juice bars this year. Starbucks Corp purchased the California-based juice maker with plans to move into the health and wellness market by offering fresh, healthy juices and snacks completely seperate from the coffee shops we are used to on every street corner.

Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz hopes that buying Evolution Fresh, sold in a few health retailers including Whole Foods, will lend credibility to the bars for their health-conscious consumers. Evolution Fresh, which was started by the founder of Naked Juice, uses a heat-free, high-pressure pasteurization process they claim retains more nutrients compared with using conventional heat pasteurization.

Starbucks has been quiet about how many bars they plan to open and the name of the chain, but do say they hope to open the first around the middle of this year. It is also unknown is they will keep their famous mermaid logo, which recently dropped the word “coffee” from its design.


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Women Only Gyms Cut Workout Intimidation

A new gym in Springfield, Ohio may be on the cutting edge of what women are needing. A gym of their own.

Premier Fitness opened on December 26, 2011 in a former gym’s location. The gym re-branded, went under new ownership, all previous members kept their membership and most things stayed the same. However one major change has been making news. The club contains a new women-only section.

“We really target ladies who wouldn’t go to a fitness environment due to the stigma of what it means to be fit,” said new owner, Wade Gates. “Over the years a lot has been done to make the environment friendly to women who would be intimidated.”

The women’s room is a fitness center within a fitness center. The room has equipment designed for smaller frames and different types of weights, but “The main thing is it’s just an area (women) can go where they aren’t sweating next to guys,” Gates said.

Some may think Wade’s comments are unfounded or demeaning to women, but a lot of women really do care about working out next to men. “It’s really nice to be separate from the men’s, it’s not so embarrassing,” said Christina Butts, who has been a member for a month.

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Healthiest Laws in the Nation Come From California’s Big Government

California has been the trend setting state for decades. Hollywood, California alone is responsible for most of the trends set around the world. Aside from the glitz and glam influences, California may be the top health trendsetter, too.

California was first to do many things. They were first to require smog checks, pass anti-tobacco laws, even to require bike helmets. They were pioneers in 1998 when they banned smoking in workplaces, bars and restaurants. The state passes many laws on a yearly basis, and many are positive for public health.

“There have been progressive legislation in tobacco, environment and obesity prevention,” said Mark Horton, a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health. “In some respect, the rest of the country looks to California as a laboratory for moving forward with those various types of initiatives.”

While some are excited about the 151,002 health and safety laws the state currently has, others feel the government is barging into their lives. “It never ends,” said Laer Pearce, who works in public affairs in Orange County. “Every year, several hundred bills come through and dozens of them tell us how to live our lives.”

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15 Year Chicken Nugget Diet Finally Catches Up with Teen

Stacey Irvine takes fast food addiction to a whole new level. The British teenager has lived on a diet of practically nothing but chicken nuggets since the age of two.

“McDonald’s chicken nuggets are my favorite,” she said. “I share 20 with my boyfriend with chips. But I also like KFC and supermarket brands. My main meal is always chicken nuggets every day,” she said.

Irvine, who has claimed to have never eaten a fruit or vegetable, was diagnosed by doctors to have anemia, an iron deficiency, and swollen veins in her tongue. The 17-year old was rushed to the hospital after she collapsed and began struggling to breathe. Irvine received nutrient injections and was put on a course of vitamins before being released home.

Even after doctors urged her to change her diet, she says she will continue to eat her favorite food. “I first tasted chicken nuggets when my mum took me to McDonald’s when I was two. I loved them so much they were all I would eat. I just couldn’t face even trying other foods. Mom gave up giving me anything else years ago,” she added.


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