Friday, March 19, 2010

Consumer Reports: Food & Fitness

If you want to purchase a car or TV, or even a computer, you might peruse Consumer Reports to garner their opinion on your potential purpose. But, if you wanted to buy an organic tomato, breakfast cereal or ice cream, Consumer Reports would probably not be a resource you might consider.

That might be changing though as Consumer Reports has published a special issue, Food & Fitness. This 84 page magazine, costing $6.99, might be a one-shot issue, though there is some indication that additional issues may be published in the future, though not on a regular basis. It is well worth picking up this magazine though as it is filled with lots of valuable advice and recommendations.

The magazine begins with some Food Tests, including breakfast cereal, oatmeal, orange juice, pancakes in a can, coffee, peanut butter, yogurts for children, ice cream, veggie burgers, and more. These are similar to the standard product comparisons you find in Consumer Reports.

The next section is a Supermarket Survival Guide, which has six articles, two of which are comparisons such as a comparison of 59 national chain supermarkets. What I found more interesting was an article called Sidestep These Supermarket Traps. It produces good advice on how to lower your grocery bill, or buy better products.

Another valuable article is When It Pays to Buy Organic. Did you know that on average, you'll pay 50% extra for organic food, as as much as 100% extra for organic milk and meat? This article gives you suggestions on how to get less expensive organic food and they follow up indicating which items are best bought organic and which organic items are not that useful.

There is a section on Expert Tips, including What The Label Means, which is a fascinating article. Learn what it means when a label states "Whole grains" or "100% organic." What surprised me was the information on "cage free" and "free range." There is no regulation on the term "cage free" so it is relatively meaningless. "Free range" only applies to poultry, not eggs, and it does not mean much either. All it takes is 5 minutes a day of open-air access to qualify.

Check out the item on Value Vitamins, which discusses whether you need a multivitamin or not, or the article Under The Influence, which provides advice on protecting your children from the deluge of food advertisements on television. The Healthy Eating section has plenty of informative articles, on everything from better ways to dine at home as well as dining out. It includes articles on incorporating dietary restrictions into your cooking, and also provides some recipes. Finally, the Fitness section, provides information on how to exercise as well as product comparisons on exercise machines.

Overall, this magazine is loaded with fascinating and practical information, giving you lots of value for your money. The information is well written and easily understandable. I hope that they continue to publish more of these magazines, expanding their coverage to other food and fitness topics. Issues of health, sustainability, organics, and such can be very complex issues and people need good resources to delve to the heart of such matters. This magazine is a good starting resource.


MichellePC said...

Awesome! It's great to see that there's such a helpful resource out there.

Richard Auffrey said...

It is an excellent magazine, and I do hope they publish more editions.