An informal poll among China’s starving children has revealed that they’re no longer consuming American leftovers with the enthusiasm they once did.
Since 1988, poverty-stricken Chinese youths have received small servings of food from American children via the underground “Leftover Pipeline” that runs from San Francisco to Beijing. In recent times, however, the majority of Chinese kids have been unwilling to consume the half-eaten apples and week-old meat loaf that frequently spills from the pipeline.
Some experts say that globalization is to blame, at least in part, for the Chinese kids’ increasingly finicky tastes. No longer content with cartons of almost empty generic “orange drink,” the children are demanding unopened bottles of the higher-priced Sunny Delight, a drink they also prefer to the “purple stuff” they’re often given to drink.
In conversations with China’s starving kids, it’s obvious that they appreciate the generosity of American mothers, who issue near-constant reminders about them. Li Xiang, an 11-year-old girl from south Beijing, said through an interpreter, “I love very much the Americans who have fed me for my years. But I no longer wish to eat your last bite of green beans. School lunches I especially detest.”
She added: “Are you not home to the McDonald’s? Could you not send an entire Happy Meal? Cash, too, would be most welcome.”