ECNU food festival encourages food saving


The 32nd ECNU Food-saving Month & 8th Food Festival was held on the square to the west of Xiayu Hall at Minhang Campus on October 14 and on the lawn in front of Qun Xian Tang on Zhongbei Campus on October 21. This year's event, while remaining a feast for foodies, also underscored the awareness of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of food waste.

Free samples of different dishes and disserts were handed out to visitors at the festival and were warmly received, including Belgium-made chocolate, eggrolls, chocolate cream puffs, northern Jiangsu meat balls, Cantonese char shiu (or roast pork), crispy durian pastry, fruits, etc.

About 113 kinds of disserts, 69 kinds of cooked food, 104 kinds of agricultural produce, 50 kinds of fruits, and 60 kinds of snacks and leisure food appeared at the festival.

The traditional folk craftsmanship on display was also a highlight that captured the attention of the visitors, who queued in front of the booths to appreciate the art of sugar and clay figurine making. This brought them back to the good old days.

The event also wowed international students. I have been studying in ECNU for five years and enjoy the campus food very much, said Habibur Rahman from Bangladesh. To save food is a traditional virtue in China and has been eulogized in quite a lot of poems. As a Chinese poem goes, 'Who knows that every grain in the plate comes from the toil of farmers?’ It tells us that wasting food is shameful and being thrifty with food is praiseworthy. We should not buy more than we can eat.

Festival goers received written proposals on food saving, signed their names on a board vowing not to waste food, and shared their snapshots on WeChat moments. By doing so, they could receive a small free gift.

To contribute to the university’s effort in poverty alleviation, the festival also displayed specialties and agricultural produce from less developed provinces and regions, such as Xundian of Yunnan, Guoluo of Qinghai, Kashi of Xinjiang and Zunyi of Guizhou. The  food was offered for free to students and teachers, who could then buy  produce from these areas to contribute to poverty relief efforts.

ECNU has been encouraging students to be frugal with food for years. The 32nd Food-saving Month this year aims to promote the virtue of frugality and the consciousness of treasuring grain and saving food. Starting from this semester, ECNU canteens have offered half-portion dishes and sold rice in three portions at 0.44 yuan, 0.22 yuan and 0.11 yuan, respectively. Noodles are also served in small and big bowls. 

Meanwhile, to eliminate food waste at the source, the canteens' management have tightened their grip on the procurement, production and processing of food raw materials. They have also kept the warehouses clean, well-ventilated and organized to prevent food materials from going bad.

Author:Xu Xincheng

Photo by:Dai Qi, Huang Doudou, Zhang Jun

Video by: Xu Xincheng

Copy editor: Joshua Mayfield

Editor: Siyuan Zhang


East China Normal University