China...Food, Water & Wine

Some 400 million Chinese have been lifted out of poverty and have joined the “Middle Class”. Few in China use the term middle class. Everybody, talks about it, but they use different words such as white-collar, entrepreneurs, businessmen or middle income.

How do you define the “Middle Class” in China? The definition varies greatly in terms of income. You could be considered part of the middle class if you make between $1000 to $10,000 per year. In rural areas the average income is only about $300 per year.

The Chinese middle class is eating more meat, which requires more grain to feed animals. China buys more than half the world’s soybean exports and is the world’s biggest wheat importer, and the world’s second biggest corn importer. Most corn in China isn’t consumed by humans at all—75 percent of its corn consumption is used for animal feed. China will overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest consumer of wine by 2015, says Euromonitor.

What is a growing concern in China? Water. In China 90% of the water is polluted. After almost 30 years of double-digit economic growth and the migration of millions to the cities, China has been barely able to meet the surge in demand for water.

Steven LeBlanc

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