China is also an Eating Culture

April 8, 2015

China is an eating culture.  Although today’s Chinese don’t eat the huge quantities of meat the average American does, China accounts for half of global pig production because pork is the popular meat to eat.  Small farmer producers raise ninety-nine percent of pork in China.

Even when grain production falls in China that does not translate into a shortage since China has historically kept large food-grain stockpiles and those individual small farmer/producers help ensure food security. – China through a Lens

Meat consumuption in China vs US

As China continues to grow a consumer middle class, food demand and eating habits are changing along with waistlines.  To meet this demand, Chinese have set up large pork and chicken operations in Australia to meet the growing demand for meat on the mainland. – Food Crisis

To insure a dependable supply of food to feed its people, Chinese companies have also bought or leased land in Africa sending Chinese laborers to produce crops for sale on the world market and back home. The reports, “Africa’s population is expected to match or overtake China’s by 2050, but the paper says China will soon need to develop deeper trade ties with key African countries to help feed its 1.3 billion population.”


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

2015 Promotion Image for My Splendid Concubine

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The Double Menu Caper

April 3, 2010

Our hotel was outside Xian’s city walls.  We had a view of the battlements that were centuries old. At night, the walls and towers were outlined with white Christmas lights.  I ached to get up there and walk those walls.  It was 1999, and I’d wait more than nine years before that happened.

Our second day in the city, we walked from the hotel into the city to a Xian restaurant. I went in first and the hostess, who didn’t speak a word of English, handed me a menu written in English.

This is a different restaurant from the one I mention.

My wife, dressed more like a Chinese peasant than an American, came in after me and she was handed a menu in Chinese. My wife glanced at my menu. She took it out of my hands and gave it back to the hostess.

“We’ll use the Chinese menu,” she said. The prices in Mandarin were less than half the English version.  A stunned look appeared on the hostesses face.  It was a Candid Camera moment, and it was all I could do to avoid laughing.

See I ate no Dog, I Ate no Cat, Guest post by Bob Grant

I Ate no Dog – I Ate no Cat

February 19, 2010

Originally published at Speak Without Interruption on February 9, 2010
By Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption

When I first traveled to China, I was warned about the food from many well-meaning people—some who had traveled to China and some who had not.  I was told that I would starve if I did not take food in my suitcase, so I did.  I took trail mix and hard candy nearly overloading my suitcase.  It was just one of the stereotypes of China that I had heard and believed before I experienced true Chinese food for myself.  For that first trip, I ended up throwing away most of the food that I had brought because I did not want to lug it back to the U.S.

I will admit that the food is different from what I normally eat—to be honest, it is definitely healthier.  I found there to be a lot of vegetables, fish, and chicken—I never ate Dog or Cat at least to my knowledge.  I ate at restaurants and I ate in factories.  I ate what was put in front of me, and I stayed in places where my associates stayed.  I had customers who went to China on their own for other products.  They would not stay in anything but “Western Style” hotels and would not eat anything but “Western Style” food, and there are places in the larger cities, which have both.  Some of them would even go as far as to not eat during the day with their hosts—rather waiting until they returned to their hotels for their “Western Style” food.  I always felt that was rather rude to say the least and a bit disrespectful. 

As for the food itself, I found it to be, for the most part, rather tasty.  I took my hosts advice and did not drink the tap water.  I drank bottled water, their very excellent hot tea, and a lot of their extremely appealing Chinese beer.  The food was normally brought out as it was prepared and put on a Lazy Susan.  Everyone turned it until the food they wanted was in front of them and then put it on their plates or ate it over, or on, a bowl of steamed white rice.  We ate a lot in restaurants in private rooms, which I truly enjoyed.  There was no outside noise, and the atmosphere was more personal.  When I ate in factories, it was what the employees ate and in their dining area—each experience was unique and enjoyable.  I learned to use Chopsticks at least enough to get food from the plate to my mouth.  Although people keep bringing me utensils, I stuck with the Chopsticks while in the country.  I “never” got sick from anything that I ate or drank in China, which is more than I can say for my normal diet.

The food is just one of the misconceptions of China and its people.  I believed what I was told until I experienced it myself—not unlike other things in my life that I have been told by others only to be dispelled once I experienced it personally.

If you would like to read other guest posts by Bob Grant, start with They All Look Alike