Consumer Reports October 2015: Generators, Smartphones and Energy Conservation

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Check out this information in the October issue of Consumer Reports:

Ground Beef

56446_cattle_lgLast year Americans bought 4.6 billion pounds of beef in grocery and big-box stores–mostly ground beef. With all the recent bacteria-tainted beef scares, how safe is the beef you’re buying? Check out this month’s article on conventionally-raised cows vs. grass-fed, labels to look for when buying beef, the definitions for the various labels (ground chuck, 80/20, lean/extra lean, etc.) and how to handle beef safely from the time you buy it until you consume it.


Do you rely on a generator after a power outage? Wish you had a one after a big storm? Check out “Dark and Stormy Nights” for portable and stationary generator ratings.  The article includes information on chain saws and other tools that might come in handy for removing tree limbs after a storm too!

Helpful Smartphones

So many of us today have smartphones, but are we using them to their full capacity?  Smartphones can help you track your travels, remind you of appointments and organize your photos. There are also many apps that can help with navigation–Google Maps, Waze, and Here are just a few. Check out “Hidden Helpers in Your Phone” for more information.

Energy Efficiency

More and more of us are making energy conservation and efficiency a priority. In the end, do some consumers end up paying more for their utility bills? This issue’s special section on energy discusses this, along with solar energy, and what the blue “Energy Star” label on some appliances means.

More in This Issue

  • Ratings for toilet paper
  • Ratings for headphones
  • Ratings for LED lightbulbs
  • Article on businesses that give discounts to college students
  • Article on tiny SUVS such as the Mazda CX-3 and the Honda HR-V
  • The best and worst new vehicle models for 2015

Each branch of the Fauquier County Library has the print issues of Consumer Reports from 2011 up to the current issue. The Find It Virginia databases have an index to the issues from February 1, 1976 to the current issue, and the full-text of the reviews from January 1, 1999 to June 1, 2009. You can access Find It Virginia from any library computer, or from home with your valid Fauquier County Public Library card. You can also see past summaries of Consumer Reports prepared by library staff online.

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