Health Buzz: Supermarkets Ditch 'Pink Slime'

5 non-dairy foods with calcium; 8 steps to mend a broken heart


Supermarkets Reject 'Pink Slime' Beef Products

Grocery stores are dropping the ground beef filler now known as 'pink slime.' A growing number of national chains—including Safeway, Supervalu, Kroger, Stop & Shop, and Food Lion—stopped buying such products this week, after concerns about the finely textured beef sparked public outrage. Pink slime is cleansed with ammonia and commonly mixed into ground meat, and critics liken it to pet food. Federal regulators say the beef cuts are safe, but opponents say it's both unappetizing and potentially unhealthy. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that, beginning next fall, the National School Lunch Program will allow districts to choose pink slime-free ground beef. Previously, schools had a hard time knowing whether the beef they bought contained it or not. "Our customers have expressed their concerns that the use of lean finely textured beef — while fully approved by the USDA for safety and quality — is something they do not want in their ground beef," Kroger said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. "As a result, Kroger will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean finely textured beef."

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  • 5 Non-Dairy Foods With Calcium

    It can be tough to get all the calcium you need each day, especially if you're vegan, lactose intolerant, or just don't like dairy products. But you shouldn't skimp on calcium. This important mineral does more than strengthen your bones—it also plays a role in regulating your blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart. If your body doesn't get enough, it'll compensate by leeching calcium from your bones, leaving them brittle and weak.

    Luckily, there's a range of non-dairy foods that offer the 1,000 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends you get daily. Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), says the advantage of plant-based calcium is that it ensures you're eating lots of veggies—another important part of any diet.

    But avoiding dairy also comes with a warning. "There are compounds in plants that bind to calcium and prevent you from absorbing it," Anding says. "Although they're good sources of calcium on paper, physiologically, the amount of calcium is not so great. Dairy calcium is biologically available, meaning you absorb what's in the product." The way around this, she adds, is to "make sure you're varying your sources." While nothing can undo the effects of these compounds, in general, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium—so make sure you get enough of this, too. (The government recommends 15 micrograms of vitamin D per day.) [Read more: 5 Non-Dairy Foods With Calcium.]

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    • 8 Steps to Mend a Broken Heart

      Getting over a broken heart is never easy, especially in the social networking age, when photos of you and your ex in happier times remain plastered on your friends' Facebook pages. Worse, recent research suggests that romantic rejection can cause physical pain in a way that no other negative emotion—not even anger or fear—can.

      But it's actually good to go through the insane despair and bouts of endless tears that result from being dumped, contends bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Piver. We should embrace these feelings rather than run from them, she argues in her book, The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. "As unlikely as it may sound, this sorrow is the gateway to lasting happiness," she writes, speaking of her own two-year experience recovering from heartbreak. Piver and other experts described ways to ride through those uninvited waves of grief.

      1. Make friends with your heartbreak. You may be tempted to try and forge past it, numbing the pain with rebound sex or a date with a gallon of ice cream. Or you may harden your heart and swear off all future relationships. But that's the cowardly approach, and one that won't serve you well in the long run. "It takes a lot of courage to be sad," says Piver, "but a fantastic life is not one that is placidly happy." With grieving comes increased awareness: of what's truly important to you; whom you love; who loves you. "Of course, no one wants to feel that way, myself included," Piver adds, "but if you allow [the sadness] to teach you, it actually will resolve faster than any effort to fight it." [Read more: 8 Steps to Mend a Broken Heart.]