Sunday, January 07, 2007

Amuse-Biatch RIP: Elia Aboumrad Birthplace in Hot Water

From Japan comes breaking news of a tragic loss to the food world. 96-year-old Momofuku Ando, inventor of instant noodles, has died. He is to be freeze-dried and buried in a styrofoam coffin, there to await the hot water of the Resurrection.

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.

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.
And so let us take a moment to remember Ando-san as he goes to his eternal reward.


Nikki Noodles said...

Um, the last time I checked, these little "heaven in a bag" noodle packets (ah, memories of my early 20's) still cost $1.00 for 6! Can any food item that cheap be good for you? Well, this guy lived to see his 90's. Enough said?

Anonymous said...

Now that I've graduated college and have a well paying job, instant noodles is now just an occasional indulgence, and every time I eat them I realize why I quit eating them regularly.

Laz said...

Funny thing is that Spanish Television airs commercials for this very product peddling it as the traditional favorite sopa de fideo. Go figure.