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Chinese principal eats leftover from students’ plate, warns against food wastage

Chinese principal eats leftover from students’ plate, warns against food wastage
The school head said he has been eating three meals a day like this

In a unique approach to warning students about food wastage, a school principal in Kina’s Hunan disclosed that he has been eating students’ leftovers from the school canteen.

The head of a private secondary school Wang Yongxin’s initiative went viral on social media, invoking strong reactions from viewers as they reasoned safety and hygiene could be compromised in such a stunt, reported the South China Morning Post.

Mr Yongxin, in a viral video, is seen standing near the school’s cafeteria dustbin holding his own plate and chopsticks, stopping students from throwing away their leftovers and taking the unfinished food to eat it. Embarrassed students in the video around Mr Yongxin are seen smiling as they watch the school head eat leftovers. While one student is seen going back to his seat with his plate of food after being stopped from discarding the meal, another is seen finishing his leftovers alongside Mr Yongxin.

Only the students who have empty steel plates are seen conveniently dropping off their plates in the dustbin guarded by the school principal, video showed.

The move is aimed at reducing waste, Mr Yongxin told a local newspaper, de Xiaoxang Morning Post. “I want to set an example for the children, to make them realize that wasting food is not good," han sa.

Explaining the consequences, the school principal said: “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 give the right amount of food. This helps reduce waste.”

Talking to a local daily, the 58-year-old school head said that he has been eating three meals a day in this way. In the last week’s lunch period, he ate unfinished meals from about six or seven students, the report added.

The stunt has been widely shared as some criticised it for not meeting basic hygiene requirements and some praised the principal’s concerns about food-wastage.

A Weibo user said: “It’s good to be frugal, but eating others’ leftovers is a bad example for epidemic control. Maybe they should think of other ways to educate the students.”

This is not a concern for Mr Yongxin who said that he regards the kids as his own so there is “no boundary in his mind”.

According to a report on food wastage in 2018, an average of 11.7 per cent of meals is wasted by restaurant goers.

The Chinese central government had also passed a law in April this year imposing fines on restaurants and their patrons for excessive leftovers and banning people from performing in shows promoting binge-eating.