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Ag-Gag Bills Will Keep Food Preparation Methods Secret

Pink slime has been making headlines a lot lately. As most consumers are learning the truth about the food they’re putting in their mouths, the government is apparently getting nervous.

If you haven’t read the truth about this product called pink slime that is making up the majority of the meat served in this country, you should really inform yourself.

Microbiologist Carl Custer gives an excellent definition of pink slime. Custer explains how the substance is primarily connective tissue and gristle, the texture is simply manipulated mechanically and the flavor altered chemically to fool you into thinking it’s meat.

“It’s not meat. We call it Soylent Pink,” Custer said, who has worked with the Food Safety Inspection Service for 35 years.


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Obesity Might Involve More Than Calories In, Calories Out

by Arleigh Aldrich

More and more studies are surfacing with the argument that it’s not just how much we eat that is fueling obesity, but what we’re eating. For years, scientists and nutritionists have adhered to the “calories in, calories out” model, in which one loses weight by burning more calories than they intake. Now researchers are asking if pollutants that make their way into our food affect that model.

The culprits on trial are called “obesogens,” a new term coined to describe organic pollutants such as pesticides for crops and slimicides for water purification. Here’s the question: If I consume a diet with ingredients exposed to obesogens containing X amount of calories, will it cause me to gain more weight than if my diet didn’t contain those pollutants?

Bruce Blumberg, professor of developmental and cell biology and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of California, says yes. Blumberg coined the term obesogens and claims they have an effect on how the body responds to calories and stores fat. In his study, one group of rats was fed a diet which contained the pollutants tributyltin and triphenyltin, and the other fed a diet with the same amount of calories, sans the pollutants. He found the rats who were fed the pollutants were found to have larger and higher quantities of fat cells.


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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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