The food pagoda

12 Oct

Recently I checked my mail and saw that I had a large envelope addressed “to occupant.”  Curious, I opened it up – inside there were two things – the first was a large magnet with what I am calling a “food pagoda.”

the second was a book of 120 common mental health questions.

I suppose that it is a type of public service announcement and despite the Chinese government’s detection techniques I am guessing this was not sent only to me because it is in Mandarin. I am on the healthy end of eating techniques and at the moment a book of mental health resources in Chinese is not quite what I am looking for as it would take me way too long to actually find the question/answer I needed.

What struck me as strange though – is how I’m guessing every household in my area received these materials and the fact that I can read them!  It’s another step for my language learning and a strange view into the overall health of Chinese society.

I can see that they recommend 1200 mL of water a day and that you should exercise at least 6000 steps.  There is recommended control of salt and oil (at the very top of the pagoda).  It all makes sense – but I still don’t quite understand why this type of public service announcement was needed.

Any thoughts from the community?  Why do you think the government decided to send this information?  What would you put in your food pagoda?


10 Responses to “The food pagoda”

  1. Tex October 12, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Some bureaucrat went to a conference and learned about the “food pyramid” and decided there needed to be a Chinese version.

    • gkm2011 October 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      Very possible, it must have been before Michelle Obama replaced it!

  2. jotsfromasmallapt October 12, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    I agree with Tex…and…that conference was probably U.S. sponsored and located.
    I didn’t see chocolate anywhere on that food pyramid…..has to be a miss print….

    • gkm2011 October 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      I agree, chocolate should receive its own category. Perhaps I should write them a note?

  3. expatlingo October 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    I’m very curious about the book of 120 mental health questions. Anything interesting or unusual in there?

    • gkm2011 October 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      To tell you the truth my reading comprehension level isn’t that high, but there were sections on dealing with kids and dealing with parents… Very self help focused

  4. sarahinguangzhou October 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Virtually every Chinese person I met seemed to have some kind of home-spun philosophy about what to eat and when to eat it, based on very little science. My favourite was a friend’s Chinese girlfriend who wouldn’t let me eat the dinner unless I’d eaten the soup first because it was ‘dangerous’. And don’t even get me started on how any times I was told how dangerous cold water is.

    • gkm2011 October 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

      I can relate to the cold water, though I would think in Gaungzhou it would be easier to find because it is so hot there!

  5. expatlingo October 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    There was an article in the South China Morning Post today about these very mental health materials that you were sent in the mail:

    Apparently your asked to report anyone with “strange behavior” and there’s been a bit of an outcry over it.

    • gkm2011 October 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      I took a look, perhaps they are connected, but as far as I can tell this is more of a self help book. Perhaps though I just can’t tell that I am supposed to send it back with feedback!

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