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Chinese artist spreads grains of gold to highlight food waste
From:ChinaDaily  |  2021-10-15 16:22

A Chinese artist had 1,000 grains of gold rice made and spread into the Huangpu River and all over Shanghai, in order to address the widespread phenomenon of food waste.

Yang Yexin claimed to have made 1,000 grains of rice from 500 grams of pure gold whose value totaled more than 200,000 yuan ($31,000), and dropped them one by one into the Huangpu River, garbage bins at street corners, metro trains and grasslands in public parks all over the city, which was documented in a video released on Friday, one day ahead of Saturday, which marks the 41st World Food Day.

"Each grain I drop is an indictment for the waste of food. Every day a large amount of food is discarded and nobody paid any attention," Yang says in the video. "In fact every grain of rice matters. Each is worth more than pure gold."

A report jointly released by the China Academy of Sciences and the World Wide Fund for Nature in 2018 found that China's food and catering industries waste 93 grams of food per meal per person, about 11.7 percent of a person's average food intake. At larger banquets the waste rate can go as high as 38 percent.

Yang said: "I hope to remind people how serious is the food wasting phenomenon in China, and I want to raise more public attention to food safety."

"This is a small joke I made with the public of Shanghai," Yang said. "I want to discuss with them the relationship between rice and gold, their specific value and significance."

The performance attracted heated responses on China's social media. On Zhihu.com, a user identified as Ling Jian said that "it is a great idea, spending 200,000 yuan calling on the public to save food. After all, one can spend his money however he wants, while food is a vital resource of strategic importance. You will die without it."