TYR The Young Reporter Magazine

Flexitarian: an easy way to go green

To become a flexible vegetarian in Hong Kong “I’d like to have the Pesto Chicken Salad, but please take away the chicken,” said Ms. Chan at a bakery cafe. Her friend surprisingly asked her, “What? You’re taking away the best part of the dish!” This is a situation often encountered by Chan Wun, but her diet habit is different from that of traditional “vegetarians”. She is a member of a rising group, “flexitarians”, a combination of “flexible” and “vegetarians”. The number of flexitarians rose from 5% in 2008 to 22% in 2016, while vegetarians only account for 3% of Hong Kong’s population. Up till 2017, over 1,000 restaurants in Hong Kong have joined an initiative programme to offer vegetarian-friendly menus, according to a social startup, Green Monday. “In order to lose weight, I had become a vegetarian for around two months during high school,” said Ms. Chan, an 18-year-old university student. She had no choice but to constantly ordered Indian curry since it was the only vegetarian choice at school. Things become more difficult during family gatherings. When Ms. Chan’s mother cooks vegetarian meals for her non-vegetarian father and brother often complain that the meals lacked protein. “It is difficult to avoid eating meat especially when we are living in Chinese culture where specific cuisines and dishes will be offered during celebratory events and festivals,” said Ms. Chan. “Then I decided to quit because of inconvenience, time cost and expense.” Instead of being a strict vegetarian, she opted for a flexitarian-style diet. In fact, the problem was not faced just by Ms. Chan when she was a vegetarian. To Hiu-yan, 20, a university student who has been a vegetarian for two years, said that the once-athlete started this eating habit to keep fit.   Ms. To said she faced limited …

Hong Kong's first solar-powered food truck wins catering award

Hong Kong's first green food truck won the Gold Prize of Catering in Traditional Cuisine of CLP’s Greenplus Award Programme. The solar-power panels, which cost over $20,000, are installed on the vehicle's roof to supply electricity for fans and for customers to charge their electronic devices. “The eye-catching panels also demonstrates the eco-friendliness of the vehicle whereas other energy-saving measures are usually not obvious,” said Trevor Ng, Managing Director of Pat Chun, who has been operating the $800,000 truck since March this year. The company also adopts an energy management system which can be operated with a smartphone to improve energy efficiency. “With the system, we can collect real-time energy consumption data and adjust the use of electricity,” said Ng. For example, they can use the remaining heat generated by the automatic rice-fryer to cook their stewed beef brisket. To reduce interior temperature, they opted for a heat-resistant automatic rice-fryer. The solar panels on the roof also serve as a heat barrier during hotter days. A centrifugal range hood and a grease trap are also installed to collect used cooking oil that will be converted to biodiesel for the car. Ng said they save about 25% on their electricity bill after implementing these measures. Such environmental protection measures “mitigate climate change, lower business cost and create new business opportunities,” said Philip Yung Wai-hung, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism).  

Two out of 40 prepackaged juices found to contain mycotoxin

  Consumer Council said two of prepackaged juices samples were tested positive for patulin, a mycotoxin a UN committee on Food Additives say could suppress immunoreactions, damage nerves and affect the development of infants. Although patulin is commonly present in decaying fruits, especially apples, “the risk is higher in juices because mould cannot be seen”, said council spokesman Michael Hui King-man. The distributors have instantly removed the two cold pressed apple and blended apple juices, in which the amount of patulin have exceeded the Centre for Food Safety's action level. The council also found that the dietary fibre content of all 40 samples, including those with fruit pulps claims, was lower than the detection limit of less than 1.1g/100ml of fruit juice. Vitamin C content in apple juices was also found generally lower than 2mg/100ml, whilst that in orange juices, on the whole, was higher, ranging from 11 to 52mg/100ml. High sugar content in all samples also entailed that they are “not deemed as a low-sugar food” under Hong Kong’s current nutrition labelling standards. For the sample with the most sugar, drinking 1 bottle of 360ml of juice would amount to 46g of sugar intake. In other words, it is equivalent to 92% of an adult average daily intake of 50g free sugars limit. The council urged consumers not to substitute fruit juice for fruit because juices contain less vitamin C and fibre but are more expensive. Reported by Holly Chik Edited by Daisy Lee

Hong Kong's first solar-powered food truck wins catering award

Hong Kong's first green food truck won the Gold Prize of Catering in Traditional Cuisine of CLP’s Greenplus Award Programme. The solar-power panels, which cost over $20,000, are installed on the vehicle's roof to supply electricity for fans and for customers to charge their electronic devices. “The eye-catching panels also demonstrates the eco-friendliness of the vehicle whereas other energy-saving measures are usually not obvious,” said Trevor Ng, Managing Director of Pat Chun, who has been operating the $800,000 truck since March this year. The company also adopts an energy management system which can be operated with a smartphone to improve energy efficiency. “With the system, we can collect real-time energy consumption data and adjust the use of electricity,” said Ng. For example, they can use the remaining heat generated by the automatic rice-fryer to cook their stewed beef brisket. To reduce interior temperature, they opted for a heat-resistant automatic rice-fryer. The solar panels on the roof also serve as a heat barrier during hotter days. A centrifugal range hood and a grease trap are also installed to collect used cooking oil that will be converted to biodiesel for the car. Ng said they save about 25% on their electricity bill after implementing these measures. Such environmental protection measures “mitigate climate change, lower business cost and create new business opportunities,” said Philip Yung Wai-hung, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism).  

Hong Kong bike-sharing initiatives' secretive rise

The Lands Department confiscated around 30 bikes in Tin Shui Wai and Yuen Long, most of which are from GoBee, the first bike-sharing service in Hong Kong. Unlike existing bike-rentals, bike-sharing services allows users to rent green bikes by scanning QR codes with their mobile phones, posing no restrictions on where to pick-up or drop off the bicycles. Sha Tin District Councillor Sunny Chiu Chu-bong finds the bike-sharing service is a good concept and can be very convenient, though problems have arisen since before its implementation. However Chiu said there are no regulations towards these services, but taxpayers are paying for these bikes. “They are using government land to make profit, without approval from the public.” The district councillors were not informed of the bike-sharing service until they started receiving complaints; Some complained of alarms going off and are unable to be turn them off; Bikes were inappropriately parked, blocking the road. These are only some of the common problems found since the launch of the service. “Hong Kong is not ready for bike-sharing services,” he added. “ The city lacks government regulation and infrastructure. More similar companies are going to surface and that will worsen illegal parking.” Sha Tin resident Chan said this service is quite convenient, but it’s not very well-known and the payment method is quite complicated. Though she is concerned of the parking problem, she would choose to pick up these green bikes for a free 30-minute session. Another resident Michelle Cheung feels uneasy about the registration and payment method of the services. She fears about privacy problems which could hinder with the usage of the service. “The government should make them register and plan out the areas for them to park the bikes.” She answered when asked about possible government action, regarding the disruption caused …

Cultural tours fail to pull mainland tourists during Golden Week

  Not a lot of mainland tourists come to Hong Kong for cultural exploration or eco-tours, spokesperson of Mainland Travellers Centre of China Travel Service said. The company offers different one-day tours including popular tourists spots such as Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland, but they also offer cultural and eco-tours. For example, China Travel Service provide cultural tours to Kowloon Walled City Park and visits to Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark. Both types of packages targeted at mainland travellers but cultural and eco-tours are usually less popular amongst customers regardless in peak seasons or in regular days. Over these few days of the National Day Golden Week, over 150 individuals from the mainland came to Hong Kong daily for one-day tours of traditionally popular tourist attractions. Yet, only less than 60 joined either cultural or eco-tours every day. China Travel Service spokesperson said the company did not marketise any of their tours as flagships and customers could make their own choice. “Usually they are here (in Hong Kong) for shopping and popular tourists spots,” spokesperson said. Ho Ho Go Experience is a tour agency which covers tradition and off-the-beaten-path attractions. The founder, Ling Ho, also said no mainland tourist has joined their cultural tours after they were launched in 2015. • 20 Most Popular Countries as Mainlanders' Tourist Destinations (Data from China Tourism Academy) Former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying aimed to diversify the visitor source market and develop cultural and creative tourism, as he announced in the 2016 Policy Address. The government defined “creative tourism” as tourism and minglement of experimental activities with local characteristics, citing South Korea, Brazil and New Zealand as examples. Brazil offers tourists samba dance learning experiences instead of just watching a dancing show, whereas New Zealand organises indigenous related hands-on workshops operated by local …

Somewhere over the rainbow - How an 8-year-old boy experience China’s education gulf

Every morning at 8:30, the muddy ocher-coloured cottage is blasted with young voices reading aloud textbook passages, so loud that it can be heard across the cement-levelled playground far from the school gate. There are three classrooms in the cottage with no lights but a rickety ceiling fan each. Drawings are repeatedly glued on and ripped off a section of the wall framed with red rice paper. On top, it wrote sloppily “In Celebration of the June First International Children’s Day”. This is where the eight-year-old Huang Wei-biao goes to school every day with his 22 young schoolmates, a village in the rural area of the East Guangxi province. The nearest town is 45 minutes of serpentine car ride away. One can tell Huang is a diligent student as he reads his textbook with his finger precisely pointing at each word when he pronounces it. One can tell Huang is an assiduous child as the veins of his neck appear every time he utters a word. One can tell Huang is an eager learner as each page of his textbook is torn and curled at the corners. Yet no matter how earnest or smart a student Huang is, he is just one the 13.8 million village primary students in China who are probably receiving education of lower quality than students who study in the urban parts of China. Village schools lack facilities and professionally trained teachers. Pupils do not have classes in other areas such as arts and physical education, let alone school outings. In comparison, the XinXing primary school in the same prefectural city has a multi-story building with a sports ground. There are more than 40 teachers and most of them have received tertiary education. Children's’ parents can also find better working opportunities close by and not have …

Master of Knives

A full steel armour stands in the show window of Chan Wah Kee, a cutlery shop on Temple Street in Mong Kok.Chan Dong-wah, 85, is one of the few remaining knife sharpeners inHong Kong. He has been whetting blades for more than 70 years.Chan first learnt the art of knife sharpening in Guangzhou when he was 11 years old. Four years later, he came to Hong Kong and set up his stall on Temple Street, sharpening tailor’s scissors. After 20 years of hard work, he finally owned his cutlery store.“The key

  • 2017-04-22

“The Egg Tart: Evolution of a Classic Hairstyle

TYR’s Kenji Chan walks us around a historical barber shop and a celebrity-serving modern salon which offers the same time-honoured hairstyle “Eat Tart”, which crazed the city in the 1950s.“The pompadour haircut has al-ways been a classical and good men ’s haircut,” said Adam Chan Moon-tong, a young yet experienced hairstylist.Style such as comparing the look with vintage stone washed jeans and Wonton noodles, Chan said thatHong Kong people had forgotten the grooming culture Shanghai barbers brou

  • 2017-03-20