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A Chinese City Lost a Fried Rice World Record Because of Its Food Waste

The four tons of fried rice were originally intended to feed students in nearby schools, but were eventually deemed inedible and sent off to a farm to feed pigs instead, causing Guinness to strip the title.

Nick Rose

Nick Rose

Photo via Flickr user Simon D

Securing food for 1.3 billion people is no small feat. With an estimated 596 million tons of crops required to feed the People's Republic of China, it's no wonder that food waste is a growing concern there—and globally.

But the need to feed must be counterbalanced with every country's right to break Guinness World Records for insanely large portions of food.

READ: Is Fake Rice Actually Circulating Throughout Asia?

The Chinese city of Yangzhou has been stripped of its world record title of biggest fried rice serving after 8,820 pounds of fried rice, prepared by 300 local cooks and served in a gigantic bowl for presentation, were found to be unfit for human consumption and wasted, thus violating the Guinness committee's not-so-stringent requirement that the food be edible.

World records aside, Yangzhou fried rice—chock full of scallions, ham, peas, and egg—is without a doubt the city's claim to fame, as well as the basis for the fried rice found on Chinese takeout menus across North America.

The four tons of fried rice were originally intended to feed students in nearby schools, but were eventually deemed inedible and sent off to a farm to feed pigs instead—many of which will presumably become pork, and then be served in Yangzhou fried rice.

Yangzhou reportedly violated Guinness rules by wasting 150 kilograms (331 pounds) of the feast, hardly surprising given the ludicrous quantity of rice that was prepared. But world records for food do not automatically mean waste.

Last year, a Quebec town won the record for biggest poutine ever with 7,000 potatoes, 2,000 pounds of cheese curds, and 17,600 ounces of sauce, topped with 600 pounds of pulled pork. This may sound wasteful, but with over 8,000 poutine enthusiasts in attendance, there was not enough waste to get in the way of the world record title. And when students at McGill University broke the world record for biggest smoothie by whipping up a 3,121.7 litre (824.7 US gal) smoothie, 1,000 litres were served to a local homeless shelter.

The revocation of the title also means that the Turkey Culinary Federation maintains the Guinness title with an entirely edible 7,000 pound fried rice served in Bolu, Turkey, back in September 27, 2014, no doubt another blow to Turkey and China's fragile diplomatic ties.