City attempts to break world record for largest fried rice dish
But officials criticized for letting massive helping be used as pig feed
Guinness World Records says attempt has been declared invalid
An attempt to make the world’s largest serving of fried rice has left officials in one Chinese city red-faced after criticism that some of the four-tonne portion was used to feed pigs.
Some 300 cooks – including local residents and foreign visitors – took part in the event in the eastern Chinese city of Yangzhou Thursday, churning out 4,192 kilograms (9,241 lbs) of fried rice, the city’s signature dish, according to China’s state news agency China News Service.
The amount of fried rice broke the record set at a culinary event last year in Turkey, where 3,150 kilograms (6,945 lbs) of fried rice was cooked, according to the Guinness World Records.
But Yangzhou officials had little time to celebrate the achievement.
Internet users slammed the event, with local media reports and video footage showing the rice being loaded into trash trucks.
Yangzhou’s tourism bureau, which supervised the event, acknowledged Sunday a lack of oversight. It said that 150 kilograms (330 lbs) – a small fraction of the entire serving – of “inedible” rice was sent to pig farms but claimed that the rest had been sent to local canteens, without giving further details.
Sharon Yang, the Greater China marketing director for Guinness World Records, said that the organizer had initially provided documentation suggesting that the rice was sent to five companies to be eaten by their staff but the world record attempt had since been disqualified because the dish wasn’t “entirely edible.”
“Following a further review of the evidence, it is now clear that over 150 kilograms of fried rice was not fit for human consumption,” she said. “We will not be able to accept claims for large food items if they prove to be inedible, or if they are prepared in such a way as to make them unfit for general consumption.”
A commentary published in the state-run People’s Daily newspaper called for an end to such wasteful events, citing the government’s ongoing crackdown on lavish spending by officials.
“Who paid for the event exactly?” the commentator asked. “If it was paid for by public funds, then it was a waste of tax payers’ money. If it was sponsored by a company, it still was a huge waste of food.”
Yangzhou fried rice – often called Yeung Chow fried rice in Chinese restaurants abroad – combines rice, eggs, chicken, ham, shrimp, dried scallop, and vegetables.
Some local media reports estimated it cost about 140,000 yuan ($22,000) to stage the event.