We're all for nil nisi bonum and whatnot (e.g., Gerald Ford), but we would like to point out that in addition to feeding college students and astronauts, Ando-san's invention is having a devastating effect on the cuisine of Elia Aboumrad's native country. According to the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Service, "instant noodles' consumption [in Mexico] is higher than that of beans and rice." And according to CNN,
The noodles are especially popular among the urban and rural poor, many of whom no longer farm the corn and beans that once sustained them and instead work long hours in factories or small businesses, leaving little time for cooking. Diconsa, the government food-assistance agency, is purchasing hundreds of tons of Maruchan a year.And so let us take a moment to remember Ando-san as he goes to his eternal reward.
But the love affair with MSG-laden high-fat noodles has Mexico's public health experts on high alert. "We are seeing both malnutrition and obesity in rural areas around the country," says Teresa Gonzales de Cossio, a nutrition expert at Mexico's National Institute of Health. The increasing presence of Maruchan and other low-nutrient foods, combined with less physical activity, is a major factor in Mexico's ballooning obesity epidemic, which may earn it the laurel of most obese nation in the world in 2006.