China's anti-waste campaign could save one-tenth of grain output

Updated: 2013-02-04 10:58


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BEIJING - A campaign against food waste is sweeping across China, with government officials and netizens in full swing to fight extravagance in the world's second-largest economy, which still has 128 million people living under the poverty line.

The movement echoes Chinese leader Xi Jinping's call for frugal lifestyles, urging the fine Chinese tradition of "being diligent and thrifty."

In an age of excessive consumption and deficit spending, China's frugality campaign is also setting an example for the world.

A campaign launched more recently by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) coincided with China's efforts, taking the lifestyle issue to the center stage.

Called the "Think, Eat, Save and Reduce your footprint," the initiative appeals to consumers and retailers to embrace innovative measures that could dramatically reduce food waste at all levels.

According to data released by the FAO, about one third of all food produced globally and worth 1 trillion U.S. dollars is lost or wasted in the production and consumption systems.

Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the FAO, said the 300 million tons of food squandered each year in the industrialized world would be sufficient to feed an estimated 870 million people hungry in the world.

Figures show that there are more than one billion people living without enough food, 10 million of which die from hunger each year.

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