Tenwest Mandarin School


Wasteful Business Lunches

AlexKMG (2361 posts) • 0

I've asked for dabao at business lunches. Though, I still felt a little shame and pushed it off on my being a Westerner. The food tasted great later on at home though.

blobbles (957 posts) • 0

Yeah, I get da bao all the time, I don't care what others think, I am going to have a good feed later with the leftovers! I have convinced my local girlfriend that this is good too and now she doesn't care about face so much either and is sometimes the first to suggest da bao!

Danmairen (510 posts) • 0

Magnifico: I can't speak for the Americans but in northern Europe, at my home we rarely wasted food. Food was prepared for the number of people there and leftovers were served the next day. At my little friends' homes it was the same thing. Also, if you didn't finish your plate you'd get a stern look from mother and maybe a scolding. Apart from that, when you go out to dinner in Scandinavia you are out several thousand usually, so no, we generally don't overindulge.

blobbles (957 posts) • 0

When you look at the stats its quite sad about the west though. They estimate 25% of all food is wasted in the west (hard to know here) mostly through the food going past its expiry date (i.e. people throwing out vegetables unused, supermarkets binning old food etc).

If you read up on the subject of food wastage its rather surprising. We could probably all do a lot better than what we do, but we choose not too for a variety of reasons.

An interesting thing I was taught by food scientists (working for a food generation and security NGO) was there is actually enough calorific food value in the human food chain to feed around 12 billion people. The problem is we choose not to use or distribute it equally or wisely for a variety of reasons (political/social/greed etc etc).

BillDan (268 posts) • 0

I have another theory here other than the "face" thing, which is not to be dismissed as a viable theory either and the two probably are a bit compatible. They ("they" being Chinese people with some degree of social success and status and therefore money to burn, you seldom see this wasteful behavior at the "lower" levels of society here) order all this food with the intention of actually eating it, but after they get it and have a few bites they are shocked as to how crappy it tastes, like most food in China does. It is so bad and inedible that even native Chinese people cannot stomach it, and the local Kunming/Yunnan food is the worst and most disappointing of all possible food choices in the universe, so the tables are left with loads of food basically unfit for human -or most animal- consumption. That is why you see a lot of food with a bite or two out of it. Some brave soul tried it, the way primitive people probably tried various plants and animals before the rest of the tribe did and the looks on their faces let the other neanderthals know if the food was basically edible or not.

If they could make something here that wasn't just spicy animal guts covered in gutter oil and MSG maybe a little more of the food would be consumed. A little more, but not much. Anyway, that is my take on this topic. I may be mistaken.

AlexKMG (2361 posts) • 0

Ouch BillDan, that's rough. Only problem with your theory is that these are the locals who grew up eating that food, so they know what to expect or like it actually.

lihaizi (17 posts) • 0

Today I happened to see a sad and bitter character walk down Wenhua Xiang. I imagined he was probably looking for a McDonalds or Burger King to save himself from having to eat anything that could possibly challenge his taste buds – flavours that he decided at young age belonged to the evil cuisine home to the place he'd later live in to supply himself with an easier life, find a wife half his age and whine about everything unfamiliar. Rants that even his better half – native to the place he chose to live in – had to accept as unchallenged truths.

I'm not a fan of any deliberate show of wealth, but there's more worthwhile things to spend one's time on. Well, provided that one's life does involve anything worthwhile to begin with.

What's worse though is that some believe that their personal preference and cultural background are superior over those of others. If we all would feel this way and vent this at any given opportunity – this world would truly be a sad place.

Dazzer (2806 posts) • 0

The ranting phase is one of the stages of culture shock.
I think most if not all expats go through this to a greater or lesser degree. We may not want to admit it though.

OceanOcean (1176 posts) • 0

I've often found that the more expensive, "look at how much money I can throw around" dishes go largely untouched. Whereas the cheaper, more basic dishes (potato, egg, tofu, cabbage based fare) get eaten right up, even in posh banquets.

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