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Consumer Reports Magazine | October

Published: October 2015
October 2015

Cover story

How safe is your ground beef? If you don’t know how the ground beef you eat was raised, you may be putting yourself at higher risk of illness from dangerous bacteria. You okay with that?
Good sources of protein Vary your meals so you don't rely too much on red meat
Ground beef terms explained Labels you see on packages may not mean what you think they do
When shopping for ground beef, look for these labels Consumer Reports recommends buying these types of meat
Why grass-fed beef costs more You'll pay a little extra, but Consumer Reports' tests of ground beef show grass-fed is less likely to harbor dangerous bacteria


Hidden helpers in your phone Smartphone functionality has zoomed way beyond driving directions
How to tame the energy hogs in your home 20 ways to cut your utility bill without sacrificing comfort
Is Energy Star being tarnished? Federal program faces opposition on multiple fronts
Is it time to finally buy a generator? After a few bad storms, it may be time to invest in a generator
The fight over your electric bill Are consumers being penalized for saving energy at home?

Lab Tests

Best and brightest energy-saving lightbulbs The newest CFLs, halogens, and LEDs last longer and cost less to operate
The dirty little secrets of toilet paper Some rolls have shrunk more than 20 percent
Top headphones for $200 or less These great looking headphones are easy on the ears and the wallet


Cars worth waiting for The new or redesigned vehicles that discerning consumers should know about
Chevrolet Trax review The poster child for instant obsolescence
Honda HR-V review Practical. Functional. Affordable. Honda makes simplicity a virtue.
Is a small SUV right for you? New pint-sized crossovers are appealing to first-time new-car buyers. Find out whether they are worth the money.
Jeep Renegade review When style wins out over substance, is it still really a Jeep?

Up Front

3 vaccines you may need now Getting the right vaccine at the right time could make all the difference
Does your 401(k) plan need a makeover? Employees are demanding that their companies offer stronger retirement plans. Here’s how you can, too.

CR Health

What the coming ban on partially hydrogenated oil means for you The FDA is telling manufacturers to cut the trans fat

CR Money

Is your financial planner getting rich at your expense? Not understanding how your money adviser gets paid could cost you handsomely


Selling It Goofs, glitches, and gotchas spotted by our readers
Viewpoint: Improving the marketplace for consumers This page highlights efforts by Consumers Union and others to improve the marketplace
‘Is It Safe & Sustainable?’ Consumer Reports investigates the health risks in ground beef and looks at the Enery Star label

The October 2015 issue of Consumer Reports provides recommendations, expert buying advice, and Ratings on hundreds of consumer products. Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services, with more than 7 million print and online subscribers. It conducts the most comprehensive testing programs of any U.S. publication or website, and the company's experts have decades of experience in testing and reporting.

Subscribe here or call 1-800-333-0663. Access updated information and reports at

Consumer Reports magazine archive

Looking for a special report, investigative feature, or product review from a past issue of Consumer Reports? You can access that information and much more going back to January 2012 in our archive.

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Best washing machines that cost $800 or lessVideo These workhorses of the laundry room won't break your budget.
Special report: How safe is your ground beef?Video Recalls of bacteria-tainted ground beef are all too frequent.
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