|Staff members hold plates, encouraging diners to finish their meals, at the entrance to the Qingdao Seaview Garden Hotel in Shandong province on Thursday. [Photo/Xinhua]|
Nearly 750 restaurants in Beijing have joined a campaign against wasting food by offering smaller dishes.
The restaurants are also encouraging diners to take their leftovers home.
"We have tried to stop the wasting of food since 2006," said Lin Suqin, the manager of the capital's Hongbinlou restaurant.
"For example, if customers want to order a large portion of a dish when there are fewer than six people at the table, the waiter must ask the foreman to check the customers' real needs before they order, to avoid waste."
The restaurant now offers dishes half the size of those served normally.
The campaign comes after legal and agricultural experts said that wasting food should be a crime.
"I am proposing that the government makes regulations and policies to encourage people to despise the wasting of food, and to treat it like a crime", said Yuan Longping, an agricultural scientist.
According to research by China Agricultural University, 8 million metric tons of food protein and 3 million tons of fat were wasted in China in 2007 and 2008 — meaning the food wasted each year can feed nearly 200 million people.
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