Money Matters - Simplified


Experts ask McDonald's to stop selling junk food to kids

In a campaign spearheaded by Corporate Accountability International, a non profit watchdog group, a letter signed by 550 organizations and health professionals, has been issued to McDonald's, urging the fast food giant to stop offering foods high in sodium, fat, sugar and calories to kids.

Sugar so toxic that it may cause cancer--report

Sugar and its effects on human health are in the news again. A piece for Sunday’s edition of The New York Times Magazine suggests that sugar can cause more harm than just contributing to obesity and leading to tooth decay. It can give you cancer!

When Commodities Attack!

You know about stocks and bonds, but there are a few other investment classes out there that most individuals don't think much about, especially as they relate to individual companies. One is foreign exchange, which I've already talked about. Another is commodities, probably the world's oldest investments. Almost every type of business relies on commodities in some way, making it important for every investor to think about the broad implications of how their companies operate.

Study: Important grasses evolved early

Champaign, Ill. -- Grasses important to humans such as corn, sugar cane, millet and sorghum evolved many million of years earlier than previously thought, U.S. researchers say.

Scientists at the University of Illinois say those crops, known as C4 grasses, are more efficient than C3 plants at converting atmospheric carbon dioxide and converting it into the starches and sugars vital to plant growth, a university release reports.

C3 and C4 refer to the number of carbon atoms in the first molecular product of photosynthesis.

Having evolved relatively recently, C4 plants account for about 25 percent of global plant productivity on land, dominate grasslands in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate areas, and are a vital food source.

Dollar weakens after G20 summit

New York -- The price of gold rebounded but then lost ground Monday, giving a boost to grains, oil, gold and sugar, which is approaching a 30-year high.

Wheat, corn, soybeans and oats rose on the Chicago Board of Trade as the drop in the dollar index accelerated toward the close of market, dropping 0.44 percent by late afternoon. Raw sugar futures in New York hit an intraday peak of 28.75 cents per pound as expectations of high crop yields in Brazil and India have fallen, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Scientists see uses for odd 'dry water'

Boston -- Scientists say a substance dubbed "dry water" resembling powdered sugar could absorb and store carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas causing global warming.

In a presentation Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, scientists hinted at additional uses, including a greener, more efficient method of jump starting the chemical reactions involved in the creation of hundreds of consumer products, and a safer way to store and transport hazardous industrial materials, reported.

"There's nothing else quite like it," researcher Ben Carter said. "Hopefully, we may see 'dry water' making waves in the future."

Sugar, not just salt, can leave blood pressure mounting

High intake of salt in daily diet is known to impact blood pressure levels negatively. But now a team of U.S. researchers has found a sugary angle to blood pressure as well.

Mutant corn might promote increased yield

State College, Pa. -- U.S. biologists say they have determined mutant corn has independent genetic pathways used to regulate and export sugars that might help increase yield.

Pennsylvania State University researchers say they've identified new genes in corn that promote carbohydrate export from leaves. They said the genes -- called psychedelic genes because of the yellow and green streaks they cause in the plant's leaves -- can be manipulated to increase crop yields and the amount of biofuel that can be derived from each plant.