Volunteers ensure food waste leaves bad taste for society


BEIJING: Donning a red vest, Xie Yong hit the streets early in the morning to campaign against food waste, a cause he has been dedicated to for more than a decade.
He went from restaurant to restaurant in southwest China’s Chongqing, carrying a placard that reads “frugality starts from you and me” and politely asking diners to clear their plates by taking away leftovers.
China has launched a campaign against food waste at home and when eating out since 2013 and renewed the call this year to alert an increasingly prosperous society, where memories of hunger are being replaced by concerns of obesity and unbridled consumerism.
The increasing number of volunteers like Xie is a reflection of the campaign’s growing impact.
Responding to the food frugality call, Xie overhauled his family’s dining habits.
His wife used to cook much more than they could consume every time their daughter and son-in-law visited. After such expressions of hospitality, a large amount of food usually ended up in the trash. “Diligence and thrift have always been traditional virtues of our country, without which we can’t realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation,” Xie wrote in a letter urging family members to forego wasteful habits. The letter resonated with his family better than he had anticipated. Now before dropping in, Xie’s daughter discusses food preparation with Xie and his wife. They also established a rule to punish anyone who leaves a room without turning off the light or whoever produces the most leftovers with weekend housework. – Agencies