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Calling all Soccer Moms and Hockey Moms!

Uncategorized By February 3, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , 4 Comments

We’d love to send you some free groceries and product samples every once in a while to help with those credit card bills.  Oh – and a brand new pair of Hunter wellies for one of you.  A must for stylish Soccer and Hockey moms.  Simply answer a few questions in our short survey!  Everyone who fills out the survey will receive coupons and products.  And any Canadian sports team that has at least 20 members respond will receive $400 worth of complimentary advertising in our Sports Issue! PS.. good luck winning the Hunter boots! Take the Survey.

Oh – and we’re also drawing for a $150 Canadian Tire Gift Card!  Every time you ask fellow sports moms to fill out the survey and cc contest@urbanmommies.com, you will be entered to win a $150 Canadian Tire gift card – the winner can purchase method and other cleaning supply products.  (So now you’ll be on time AND your house will be clean!!)  Every person you send it along to will count as one ballot.

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McDonald's Beef Questions and Answers

Uncategorized By December 28, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

As many of our readers know, our publisher was chosen as a McDonald’s All-Access Mom, to see behind the scenes at McDonald’s Canada.  Yes, the experience included meeting and moo-ing at a bunch of cows, as well as a potato farm, chicken plant, restaurant visit, Hamburger University and head office.  As part of a promise to answer all of our readers’ questions, we’re publishing a Q and A for each trip.  Here’s the beef.  (More beef jokes in the main article on the trip).

Q. Do they use hormones in what the cattle are fed?

A.  Some farmers decide to use hormonal growth proponents and this is a business decision.  For the farmers, there are costs associated with the hormones, and they must weigh the cost/benefit for their business.

Q.  What are hormonal growth promotants?

A.  Hormonal growth promotants are in the form of naturally occurring sex hormones which are administered to animals in order to improve an animal’s ability to use nutrients efficiently.  Health Canada has approved three natural hormones and three synthetically produced hormones for use in cattle in Canada.

Q.  What benefit is there to using hormones?

A.  When these are used, the animal uses its feed much more efficiently.  This means that the meat will contain more lean meat and less fat in the end.  There can be more growth using less feed, resulting in less expensive beef for the consumer.

Q.  How does the Canadian Government monitor the use of growth hormones?

A.  In addition to the strict requirements which must be met in order to obtain approval to sell, and to use, growth promoting hormones in Canada, Canada’s national food safety agency, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), conducts regular monitoring programs in which thousands of samples of all meat products are analyzed to ensure that any drug residues which remain in meat are well within lawful, and safe, limits. Results of these monitoring programs are published regularly by the CFIA. Since residue levels of the natural hormones in beef are in the same range in both treated and untreated animals, Canadian regulatory authorities have concluded that it is not necessary to establish so-called safe limits of the natural hormones.  CFIA monitors for residues of the synthetic hormones and Canadian regulations do not permit residues of any of the synthetic hormones to be present in meat. And year after year, Canadian beef has been in virtually 100 per cent compliance, that is, there are no residues in the beef.

Q.  What about bacteria, Mad Cow Disease (BSE) and E. coli?

A.  BSE control and testing happens both on the farm (sick-looking animals are isolated and tested) as well as at McDonald’s-approved primary meat processing (ie. slaughterhouse) suppliers.  Canada does 40 times more than the global standard in terms of BSE prevention. Now, feed bans exist where the food chain is even more protected from contamination.  Recent cases of BSE existed in older animals that were alive prior to the feed ban. In the last 3 years, there have been more than 100,000 animals tested with only 3 positives.

Beef is tested for E. coli 0157:H7 before it arrives at the facility.  Any beef that tests positive for E. coli 0157:H7 never goes back into the McDonald’s food chain. In addition, the Cargill facility tests the incoming beef again for 0157:H7 as well as other types of bacteria according to the McDonald’s food safety standards.  Quality checks and tests are also done on the finished patties. Test results on every batch of patties are seen prior to any box being released via the distribution networks.

Q.  How do you make sure employees don’t lose their temper with animals at all stages of the process?

A.  The CFIA has a Code of Practice related to animal welfare.  In addition, there is a certified livestock transport program created by the Alberta Farm association to ensure humane treatment of animals.  At the primary processing facilities, everyone who works there all go through animal welfare training. There is 3rd party video monitoring at all primary processing facilities.  This technology can detect sharp movements and employees are always held accountable.  If any facility ever fails an audit, McDonald’s may disapprove them as a supplier of beef.

Q.  Is meat washed with ammonia?

A.  No.  Ammonia is only present within the refrigeration system to cool down the meat and never comes into contact with the meat itself.  The refrigeration system used to run on Freon and it is now run on ammonia.

For our publisher’s full article on McDonald’s beef, please see the All-Access Microsite.

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20 Top Pregnancy Essentials

Uncategorized By August 11, 2011 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Top 20 Pregnancy EssentialsSo, you’re gonna have a baby? Welcome to a different world, Mama. Your body will be going through some amazing, exciting, gross, hilarious, and unbelievable changes and experiences in the next nine months. Luckily, there are tons of great products and services that will make your pregnancy as smooth and easygoing as possible. Here are 20 of the Top Pregnancy Essentials that no stylish Mommy should be without!

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Omni Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

Uncategorized By May 4, 2010 Tags: , , , No Comments

Omni Puerto AventurasWas that Jen Aniston?  Maybe – if her people are in the know.  This place rocks.  Beautiful clientele, superior staff and the most gorgeous views on the Riviera Maya.  (But without the paparazzi.)  Located in a stunning gated town south of Playa del Carmen, the Omni is the gem of Puerto Aventuras, and is steps away from the dolphin lagoon that flanks the marina.  Yes – you can swim with the dolphins.  Or just watch the free show every night.  Be sure you feed the sea lions and manatees too (did you know they eat lettuce?). 

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Family Budget Basics

Uncategorized By December 12, 2009 Tags: , , , , 5 Comments

Adding a baby is expensive, and doing so while going through emotional and physical change can be even harder.  The stress that comes with managing your family finances shouldn’t take away from your memories and bliss.  We’re not going to preach about the percentage you should spend on housing or food, just give you a few ideas on how to be fiscally smart.

1.  Take advantage of Canada’s Benefits. The Canada Child Tax Benefit is based on your family income, and all may apply. 

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