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BuildingShanghai||Sustainable Food&Drinks Group
Time of publication : 2022-06-27 13:00:00 Content classification : CAS Activities

Sustainable food culture group


We are lucky to have grown up in a time when food is plentiful.  However, food shortages are never far from us--- more than 820 million people around the world are starving every day. According to an UN estimate, population growth and rising incomes will increase demand for agricultural products by 35-50% between 2012 and 2050, depleting more of the world's natural resources.

In recent years, there has been a growing worldwide awareness of food loss and waste, so people call for more decisive action.  Food loss and waste signal extremely negative moral degradation and mean a waste of natural resources such as land and water, even pollution by emitting greenhouse gases.


Food  problem is not only one of scarcity and waste, but also of the damage to soil, ecology and human health caused by the vast quantities of chemicals and fertilizers used to increase production.  Agriculture is the eternal topic of human development.  Jack Ma once said: "The contemporary agriculture is just like the Internet at the beginning of the 21st century";  Huang Zheng, who resigned as CEO of Pinduoduo to study food science, said he wanted to "touch the stones on the road in the next 10 years."  The reason why these tycoons care so much about agriculture is a not matter of accident but of development facing mankind.  

In view of the above problems,  instructors of the food and drink group motivated students to think about how to create a sustainable food culture and environment around us in our real life. 



Before we set about doing the project, we invited famous Malaysian chef Mr. Brian Tan to share some of his thoughts and exploration of sustainable food based on his years of working experience, and some of the diet cultures he is advocating now, such as locally sourced, ecology-friendly planting mode, and exploring new ingredients etc. When it came to the insect feast he had prepared for the French ambassador, everyone couldn’t wait to try it.  

After the project was initiated, our group went on some field trips, such as a visit to Zhujiajiao ancient town to learn about the operation of catering businesses,where they get food ingredients and how they deal with food waste.  We also visited a large-scale organic farm, where an instructor there explained to us in detail what organic agriculture is and its ecological benefits. Besides, we visited a few sustainability-themed restaurants.


While doing the project, everyone developed their own thoughts and ideas about food itself and sustainable food culture. After returning to school, they put what they had learned into practice by analyzing the current situation of the school cafeteria, proposing improvement plans.They hoped to build a sustainable food culture on campus through these changes.  


The improvement plan was carried out in different groups, and each student was actively involved in doing the project. The first group was just like the brains of the whole project, and they gave instructions to the transformation by analyzing the existing problems in the operation.  The second group was the indoor renovation group. They tried to let everyone know more about food and agriculture so that they would cherish food by improving the dining environment. The third group was the menu renovation group. They collected students' demands for dishes and the new concept of healthy diet they learned while making the field trips, and then made artistic renovation of the menu by hand-drawing.The fourth group explained our concepts and ideas by shooting and making videos.  


The students put forward constructive suggestions on how to improve the operation of the school cafeteria and its environment, and proposed that we should make the most of the natural environment of the school to practise doing organic farm projects. After the Building Shanghai week was over, Era Wu, on behalf of our project group,put forward our group's improvement proposals to all teachers and students at the “Beicheng”forum organized by the ASB, and we will be looking forward to the implementation of these proposals.  




Let’s read some of the thoughts and ideas they developed while doing this project.

Era Wu

I feel it was a great experience.  I was not only happy and lucky to have tasted so many delicious foods, but also learned a lot about agriculture and food safety.  I hope I will be able to do such a fruitful activity again next year. I also hope that all restaurants in the society can run environment-friendly and helps save resources, so that green can spread throughout the world.  

Pamela Pan

During this week, we went to many places and learned a lot about sustainable food culture.  After listening to Mr. Brian Tan's sharing, I learned a lot about food ingredients and how food is wasted in our daily life and so on.  In Zhujiajiao we visited many stores; in Baiouhuan farm we learned about organic farming; in Taikoo Li we tasted a lot of delicious foods, and in Green and Safe we tasted a lot of organic products.  I benefited a lot from the week-long activities, also realized the seriousness of food waste, determined to reduce my own food waste.

Emily  Liu

In this Building Shanghai project, I learned a lot on how to save food and how to make my diet healthier. My classmates and I conducted a lot of research on this. We went to many interesting places and experienced many novel dishes. I felt very satisfied and happy. I think learning in fieldtrip is very useful. This is also a good opportunity to provide better advice to our school. Let's live in a more environmentally friendly environment. I like this activity very much.

Jerry Zhang

I am very happy to have participated in the Building Shanghai program organized by our school.  While doing the project, my classmates and I visited many interesting places and had wonderful memories.  For example, we went to an organic farm, where I had a lot of fun and got to know a lot of amazing edible plants.  We also went to the Xiang Green Workshop of Starbucks in Taikoo Lane.  All the tables and chairs were made from recycled materials, and the leftover coffee beans were composted or used to make paintings.  I recorded a lot of materials there and learned a lot about environment-friendly crafts and machines, as well as ways to practice sustainable food culture.  I hope I can do more meaningful projects like this.  

Roger Wu

We visited some biofarms and environment-friendly restaurants to learn the difference between organic farms and organic crops.  At BioFarm in Chuansha, we learned how to kill pests and protect crops. We also learned that some pests can help them protect crops. We benefited a lot from this project.