A food stand in Nanjing. Copious amounts of food are falling off China's plates, an indication the increasing need for research into waste efficiency. (Photo/CFP)
A survey about China's food waste shows uneaten protein and fat on the country's tables amounted to eight million and three million tons, respectively, according to the state-owned broadcaster CCTV.
Beijing-based China Agricultural University's College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering conducted a survey on 2,700 tables in small, mid-size and large cities. They observed that the amount of wasted food on these tables in a year is able to feed 200 million people for a year, the broadcaster said.
Who is wasting food is a pointed question posed by The China Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League. The newspaper refused to accept the ambiguous generalization assumed by the media that "all Chinese" should be responsible for the wasted food; instead, it said many Chinese citizens, including farmers and workers as well as those in poverty, cherish what they have on the dining table.
The newspaper suggested, from citing 300 billion yuan (US$48 billion) in dining spent by government officials last year, that a potential suspect would be China's wealthy.
The newspaper advocated that the issue cannot be discussed only within academic circles, but should be solidified into law to prevent food waste.