China has successfully achieved food self-sufficiency over the past 50 years, however, with large inputs and losses. To meet the challenge of feeding a growing population with limited resources, many studies have explored options for improving productivity and efficiency of the food production. However, there have been few studies into the potential of reducing food loss along the whole food production-consumption chain. Here we review the literature on food waste in China. We briefly analyze (1) the drivers that influence levels of food waste in the food chain, (2) examine trends in the volumes and types of food wasted at different stages in the food chain, (3) assess the environmental and resource consequences of food waste in the food chain, and (4) evaluate the policy and stakeholder responses to the emerging challenges. It is concluded that reducing food loss and meeting food security in China requires a coherent institutional structure that promotes the synergistic outcomes of research, policy and education. Suggested key actions include (1) improving machinery and facility for sowing, harvesting, transportation and storage, which can reduce food loss by up to 50%, and (2) improving food waste recycling management, based on coupled food production and consumption systems.