Monday, 17 October 2011

News Brief: Taiwanese Waste More Food Than Europeans/Americans

Taiwan wastes enough food each year to feed [its] low-income families for 20 years 

Enough food was wasted in Taiwan last year to feed the nation’s low-income families for 20 years, reported today’s China Times (中國時報; full Chinese-language article here)

Citing figures from the Environmental Protection Administration (環保署), the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families (台灣兒童暨家庭扶助基金會) said that last year Taiwanese people wasted more than 2.75 million tons of food. Representing an average of 121 kilograms for each adult and child, this is about 10 percent higher than corresponding statistics for people in European and North American countries.

Based on an annual requirement of 547 kilograms of food per person, this wastage is sufficient to feed the 260,000 citizens of Taiwan in low-income households for the next 20 years. 

EPA Bureau of Environmental Inspection Inspector General Chen Shyan-heng (陳咸亨) claimed the difference with Europe and the US was due to lifestyle differences, with Taiwanese preferring to prepare fresh foodstuffs in their own homes compared with the Western practice of processing foods at the point of production (國人喜歡湯湯水水,食材又要求生鮮,菜葉和蔬果等很多食材買回去後再自行處理,歐美國家則是在產地就直接處理。).

The EPA said it had taken measures in recent years to cut back on waste, such as encouraging people to wrap and take home leftover food when eating in restaurants, and at home only to prepare as much food as they are likely to consume. (外食如果吃不完,盡量打包回家;在家就養成吃多少煮多少的習慣).

[NOMM: It would be nice to see the EPA being a little less complacent and a little more pro-active] 

                                                                                                                      Text and photos © Jiyue Publications 2011

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