Principal eats students’ leftovers

ChinaPrincipal Wang Yongxin of a private school in Hunan caused controversy for eating students’ leftovers as a reminder of food waste.

A series of videos that went viral on Chinese social media on September 7 showed Mr. Wang standing near the canteen’s trash can, stopping students from dumping their leftovers and asking them to put them on their plates. Seeing Mr. Wang’s act of eating leftovers, some students expressed concern, while some tried to finish their meal.

Mr. Wang, 58, said he ate the leftovers of about 6-7 students at lunchtime last week.

“I want to set an example for the children, to make them realize that wasting food is not good. My actions did not surprise the children but also the teachers. Many children tried to finish their portions when they saw me eating. Leftover rice and some children tell the kitchen staff to eat the right amount of food. This helps reduce waste, “principal Wang said.

Principal eats students' leftovers as a reminder of waste

Principal Wang Yongxin stood near a trash can eating students’ leftovers to remind them about food waste. Video: Weibo.

While some social media accounts praised Mr. Wang as a good example amid China’s widespread food waste, others called his behavior “offensive” and disturbing. health concerns.

“Fruity is great, but eating other people’s leftovers is a bad example of disease control. Maybe they should think of another way to educate students,” one Weibo user commented.

However, Mr. Wang does not see this as a problem. He believes that all the food comes from the same kitchen and that his students and teachers all eat here. “I consider the children as my own so there is no distance,” he said.

The Chinese government last year focused on cutting food waste, with a law passed in April allowing fines for restaurants and diners for wasting food. The country’s authorities also banned binge eating livestreams.

According to a 2018 report by the Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources Research, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, restaurant diners waste an average of 11.7% of their meal. During mass gatherings, up to 38% of food is wasted, while students are said to throw away a third of their school lunches.

Ngoc Anh (Follow SCMP)

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