New Trend of Dining in Changde: Prompting Thrift, Stopping Food Waste
“Success is due to diligence and thrift, while failure is due to luxury.” Recently, President Xi Jinping issued important instructions, which lays stress on the importance of resolutely curbing food waste, earnestly cultivating thrift habits, and creating an atmosphere of shame for waste and pride in saving.
Relevant departments, the catering industry, and canteens in Changde quickly respond and adopt measures to leave “wasting at the tip of tongue” nowhere to hide and make the “clear your plate” campaign become popular.
Canteens: less frying, less taking, with a little more times
In the canteen of Changde Government, the staff is queuing to get meals.
At the office canteen of Changde’s Government, eye-catching publicity posters on the wall and on the dining table such as “one grain of rice, thousands of drops of sweat”, or “less taking, more times” remind everyone to remember the spirit of saving all the time so that avoiding waste has become “consciousness of the tongue”.
In order to practice the “clear your plate” campaign and advocate “tongue civilization”, the canteen has replaced big pots and large plates with small ones.
Fan Juan, the person in charge of the canteen, introduced that the canteen posts a week’s recipes every week, implements a buffet, and encourages the diners to take meals on demand to avoid waste. “If we find leftovers, we will come up to persuade him/her. We encourage everyone to take less each time, and take it again if he/she is not full.”
The canteen used to stir fry in big pots, and after cooking was done, big plates were prepared for the food. Now they are all replaced with small pots and plates, and at the same time the amount of remaining dishes and the number of people at the restaurant are always kept an eye on, and dishes will be prepared immediately when food is not enough. Accordingly, the supply and demand of the dishes is under control and waste will be reduced.
Fan Juan said that the selection of dinner plates also has a certain impact on reducing food waste. Many staff members now choose to eat with bowls instead of grid plates, so that it will be much easier for them to eat the food up. Li Hong, a cadre of the municipal government office, said that after every meal, he would scoop some soup in his bowl, and he would eat it up at every meal. He said that he had gone through hungry days when he was a child, so he understood the preciousness of food. Although now he doesn’t need to worry about food and clothing, he has maintained the habit of saving.
The effect of advocating the frugal fashion is immediate. Data show that for a 50 kg bucket of waste food used by the kitchen in the cafeteria, there used to be at least 40 kg of waste food produced per day, but now it is at most about 20 kg per day.
Catering industry: care about every gram, and “clear” every plate
In the food street of Changde International Hotel, the waiter dumps a small amount of leftover breakfast buffet.
It has gradually become the consensus of the catering industry in Changde that the diners should order one less dish, only add when necessary, pack an extra bag, and take it home if they can’t eat the food up.
After 9 o’clock, there was nearly nothing left for the buffet breakfast for guests offered by the food street of Changde International Hotel. “We prepare food according to the number of guests staying in the hotel every day, so there is little waste”. The waiter Li Congxiu pointed to the poster of “clear your plate campaign” and said, “we have posted it for several years and have always adhered to the principle of eating up and not wasting.”
There was a steel scale on the table at the entrance of the food street hall. The foreman Xu Xiaochun introduced, “we care about every gram here.” The International Hotel encourages all the guests to pack before they finish eating, but they have to pay 20-50 yuan for 500 grams of food if they waste food. “Customers now save a lot more than before, and the remaining food will basically be taken away.”
In the West Lake Hotel, the phenomenon of waste used to be serious. Hou Chenglin, the manager of the West Lake Hotel, said: “In the past, guests went drinking and chatting during a meal, and they often forgot to eat food. After the meal, the guests did not have enough but the food on the table was virtually untouched.”
Now in order to prevent the feast from becoming a “leftover get-together”, the waiter will remind the guests to order reasonably, and will also introduce large or small dishes according to the number of guests.
When guests are dining, the waiter will try to divide the meals, and take the initiative to serve the dishes into their bowls. After the implementation of dividing the meal, the dishes are almost eaten up, waste is reduced, and the guests eat well. If guests can’t divide the meal and can’t finish it, the hotel will provide a packing box for free, encouraging them to pack it home.
Relevant departments: strengthen publicity and inspections
Food security is related to social well-being. The “clear your plate” campaign is both advocacy and vigilance. To stop the catering waste, many departments in Changde are taking active actions.
The Civilization Office of Changde City issued the “Proposal for Stopping Food Waste and Cultivating Frugality”, which promotes citizens to become the practitioners of food cherishing by resisting waste, of civilized dining by eating in a healthy fashion, and of strict economy by consuming rationally. The new trend of the industry is expected to be formed by catering with limitations.
In recent years, Changde Market Supervision Bureau has taken food safety as the largest project for people’s livelihood. With the implementation of “the most stringent four requirements” as the core, and creation of models as the starting point, food safety has achieved remarkable results. In 2019, the comprehensive assessment of food safety work ranked first in Hunan Province, and the “food safety satisfaction” assessment ranked second.
1. Quick market inspection to ensure the safety of the “shopping basket”.
Since the reform of the market supervision system, Changde Market Supervision Bureau has given full play to the advantages of large market supervision resources, adhered to strict source control, strict process control, and strict risk prevention, created a new food safety supervision model, and improved the quality and safety of edible agricultural products.
Sampling, inspecting, shearing, soaking, heating, testing, and the like are what Mao Chenguang, an inspector at Ganlusi Vegetable Wholesale Market in Wuling District, is doing every day. As the largest vegetable wholesale market in Changde, it is where more than 80% of the vegetables in the markets of farm produce in the urban area come from. In Wuling District, there are inspectors like Mao Chenguang in every quick inspection room in urban and rural areas, who carefully guard the safety of the “shopping basket” of Changde’s citizens. As the central district of Changde, Wuling District’s 23 markets of farm produce have all established fast food safety testing rooms. The district government invests a special fund of 3.05 million yuan every year to ensure the comprehensive and standardized operation of the testing room, and undertakes an average of 335,000 batches of vegetables testing in the markets of farm produce each year, with the results of the quick inspection announced once a day.
Inspectors conduct quick inspections in the school cafeteria.
The Sandishui Aquatic Product Market in Dingcheng District is the largest aquatic product trading market in Changde, from which the fresh fish on the tables of thousands of households comes. In order to ensure that citizens can eat safe fishes, the Dingcheng District Government invested in bidding to establish a third-party food safety rapid testing room. In the past three years, a total of 6.2 million yuan has been implemented for supervision and random inspection, and now the “National Demonstration Market for Reliable Agricultural Products” is being actively built.
In order to solve the problems of relatively backward equipment, unprofessional and non-standard operation of personnel, low problem discovery rate, few quick inspection varieties, and few batches in the quick inspection of edible agricultural products, Changde Market Supervision Bureau improves the competence and quality of inspectors and ensures the accuracy and authority of the test results through equipment updates and professional training of personnel. In 2020, it will arrange a total of 30,591 batches of food and edible agricultural products for random inspection, the number of which will reach the standard of 5 batches per thousand people.
1. “Protecting Juveniles” action: strictly control food safety around campus
On May 22, at the gates of Changde No. 1 Middle School and Qinglin
Primary School in Wuling District, blue public notices attracted both students and parents. This is the “Publicity Board of Food Safety Supervision Information on Campus and Its Surroundings” set up by Changde. In order to further implement the main responsibility system for food safety in schools and clarify the responsibilities of the supervisory department, Changde has innovated working ideas and set up “Publicity Board of Food Safety Supervision Information on Campus and Its Surroundings”, which indicates the phone number for food safety reports, job responsibilities, liaison officers and telephone numbers of the five responsible departments, including schools, education administration, market, health care, and urban management. The government publicizes all the information to the society and accepts supervision from the society. At present, a total of 1,714 publicity boards have been set up in the city.
The market supervision department continues to increase the supervision and inspection of the primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, nursery canteens, and food business entities around campuses in the jurisdiction. It carries out regular inspections and law enforcement to promote food safety governance in schools and their surrounding areas. In view of the poor hardware infrastructure of some canteens, it starts with policy and technical guidance to comprehensively improve the food safety level of school canteens and effectively ensure the food safety of teachers and students. During the summer vacation of 2020, the urban schools have been invested with more than 33 million yuan to upgrade the quality of their canteens.
2. Improving the quality of rice noodle and “three small forms in catering”, and focusing on difficult points
There are 63 small restaurants on Yinyuan Road in Jinshi, but most of them were untidy and their food storage was not qualified. After half a year of standardization and renovation, all the stores on the street now look completely new, food safety risks are greatly reduced, and it has become a famous local food street. Behind the gorgeous turn of each block is the result of the special rectification of “three small forms in catering” in Changde. Not only Yinyuan Road, but also 291 small food production and processing workshops, 4260 small restaurants and 177 concentration areas for food vendors in the city have all changed.
In 2016, with the Changde Government implementing the rice noodle quality improvement project, the city and county’s market supervision departments optimized, integrated, and upgraded the wet rice noodle production enterprises through special rectification, guidance and assistance. 43 wet rice noodle manufacturers and small workshops were integrated into 17, and product quality was effectively improved. In 2017, the Changde rice noodle craft was included in the provincial intangible cultural heritage representative project list, and was selected as a national geographical indication certification mark. In 2020, the Changde Rice Noodle Industry Development Group was established to integrate and upgrade the industry and expand its brand. The rice noodle industry has fully realized centralized production, cold chain distribution, and cold storage sales. At present, the city’s rice noodle enterprises produce 800,000 kilograms of rice noodles per day, and the industry employs nearly 100,000 people. The annual output value of the industry reaches 2.5 billion yuan. The digitalization and smart supervision platform project of Changde rice noodle industry has officially been launched, and the quality and safety traceability system for the whole process of production, circulation and consumption of rice noodle raw materials has been established, which helps Changde rice noodles move from a “small specialty” to a “big industry”.
The creation of a national food safety demonstration city is just a carrier. It is the original intention and unremitting motivation of Changde Market Supervision Bureau to help citizens feel “visible safety” and enjoy the livelihood.