Survey says wasted food in China could feed 30 to 50 million people

  • An estimated quantity of 17 to 18 million tons of food served in China’s big cities  in 2015 are wasted by Chinese consumers, according to a survey
  • Vegetables hold 29% and the top on the list of the total food waste occurring at the consumer level
  • The survey also showed that staple foods, like rice and noodles, at 24%, and meat, at 18%, are the two other main sources of food waste in China

Surveys said that an estimated quantity of 17 to 18 million tons of food served in China’s big cities  in 2015 are wasted by Chinese consumers.

It has been reported that the amount of food is sufficient to feed about 30 to 50 million individuals annually, as disclosed by Asia One.

“That might equate to the total number of people living in South Korea in the same year,” said Dr. Wang Ling’en; a leading researcher from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research at the China Academy Science.

Vegetables hold 29% and the top on the list of the total food waste occurring at the consumer level according to a survey conducted on 2015 of the four cities in the country – Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Lhasa.

The survey also showed that staple foods, like rice and noodles, at 24%, and meat, at 18%, are the two other main sources of food waste in China.

The research also revealed that each consumer from the above cities throws away 93 grams of food per meal, while more food is wasted or thrown out at school cafeterias and larger restaurants.

“By 2012, the equivalent of 1.6 Earths were needed to provide the resources and services humanity consumes each year,” said Lu Sicheng, director general of the World Wildlife Fund in China; meaning natural resources were already being hit by over-exploitation several years before 2012.

Lu added that people have forced the natural systems to the edge and explained that reducing food waste is a priority, and cannot be delayed. The Chairman of Vanke Foundation suggests that cultivating healthy eating habits seem to hold the most promise of all the available solutions to address food waste.

Meanwhile, the United States of America, being the lead in the world in food waste, has about 50% of all of the nation’s produce thrown away, about 60 million tons amounting to $160 billion, based on a story posted by The Atlantic.

A major reason why Americans have been leading the world in food waste is that food is cheaper in the United States compared to nearly anywhere else in the world aided by subsidies to corn, wheat, milk, and soybeans.

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