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The Noodle Narratives: The Global Rise of an Industrial Food into the Twenty-First Century Paperback – August 2, 2013
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― Boston Globe
"Ask about the foods that have conquered the world and you're likely to hear about Coca-Cola and McDonald's Big Macs. But the most successful industrial food ever produced flies far under the radar. And it has finally been outed by three anthropologists in a fascinating new book The Noodle Narratives, which analyzes the precipitous rise—or "brilliant career," as the authors say—of instant ramen, from its birth in postwar Japan to its sales of just over 100 billion servings worldwide in 2012." ― The Salt
"This book is a tour of the past, present and future of "one of the most remarkable industrial foods ever,” and makes the case that its humble role will become even more important in feeding an increasingly huge human population." ― Food Management
From the Inside Flap
The Noodle Narratives calls long overdue attention to an ubiquitous industrial product hiding in plain sight. This creative and readable book delivers a welcome and original contribution to the history of food and the anthropology of globalization. Robert Foster, author of Coca-Globalization: Following Soft Drinks from New York to New Guinea
- Publisher : University of California Press; First edition (August 2, 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 216 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0520276345
- ISBN-13 : 978-0520276345
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #907,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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While Errington, Fujikura, Gewertz don't quite proffer instant noodles as the ultimate cure for world hunger, they argue that the flash fried noodle blocks do hold tremendous potential. That perhaps after some tweaks to its nutritional content - less sodium and fortified with vitamins and nutrients - it may become a much more viable solution. However, as with any dirt-cheap commodity available in nearly every international market, there comes a dark side. With instant noodles, it's palm oil. I wish the authors had elaborated more on palm oil exploitation (seeing as how I am an environmental studies major and all holla), but that discussion along with the discussion about instant noodles as a product of "big food" felt brief and glossed over given the global implications of an almost-too-convenient answer to such a massive humanitarian problem.
The chapters which focus on the history, production, and consumption of instant noodles are the most enjoyable. The last couple of chapters which discuss the pros and cons of processed foods cover the same topics as many other food books, including a critique of Michael Pollen's food philosophies. Here the authors seem to be stretching to make instant noodles central to the discussion.
This is a relatively short book with enough interviews and facts about instant noodles to appeal to anyone who has eaten a lot of ramen (which is pretty much anyone who has gone to college).