Kiko's Food News, 12.14.12

After decades of rising childhood obesity rates, several US cities are reporting their first declines; as of today, 17% of children under 20 have a body mass index at or above the 95th percentile, qualifying as obese: (New York Times)

But that still feels high–to further this progress, the USDA announced their first-ever Farm to School grants, which totaled more than $4.5 million for 68 different projects around the country: (Slow Food USA)

Remember being offered “ABC (already been chewed) gum” as a kid? What if you were offered “already been digested” coffee? An exotic new brew is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and plucked a day later from their dung: (San Francisco Chronicle)

While the number of Hispanic farmers grew by 14% over the past five years, Hispanic farmers comprise only 2.5% of all farm operators. The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) is giving farm workers, most of whom are first generation Latino immigrants, the chance to move up the job ladder, teaching them crop planning, marketing and distribution: (Huffington Post)

Remember my last week’s article about the dismal compensation for food workers across the country? Well this National Diner’s Guide to working conditions in US restaurants aims to involve consumers in pushing the conversation with industry management on fair pay and better working conditions: (Restaurant Opportunities Center)

An NRDC report on fresh produce losses at the farm and packing level revealed that up to 30% of fruit and vegetable fields aren’t harvested in some years, and up to 30% of some crops go unsold because they don’t meet cosmetic criteria: (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Most of the conversation surrounding climate change revolves around reducing emissions–not how to modify agriculture–but in the absence of a global treaty that provides incentives for farm adaptation (and with the world population expected to rise by another one billion people in 15 years), many governments are not waiting for an international consensus before taking action: (New York Times)