via flickr/Jason Lam
Thanks to the Boston Globe for introducing me to the work of Deborah Gewertz, one of a trio of anthropologists responsible for the latest addition to my to-read list: a study of the history and global impact of instant ramen, a.k.a. 216 pages of stuff I cannot wait to read. Though brief, the interview gives a pretty compelling taste of how instant noodles play a role in the defining narratives of disparate groups, ending with the "reluctant" conclusion that the noodles "do more good than harm in keeping poor people not exactly nourished, but certainly alive."
Speaking of things that are better in Japan, let's talk soft drink innovation. What have we really seen on that front lately? A rehashing of Carnation Instant Breakfast? This horrifying nightmare? Do those compare favorably or unfavorably to the idea of hot ginger ale, warmed on demand by what we assume is something akin to mitten warmers? I don't even know. But soda drinkers in Japan are about to have that foisted upon them, so come late October we can just ask them.
Unlike limited edition junk food, some food stories are evergreen. Take, for example, pieces exploring the creepy-ass rainbows you find on your roast beef. I've read that story a handful of times in various sources by now, but considering the unsavory explanations your imagination is capable of concocting in absence of an authoritative explanation, it always bears repeating. See also: blue garlic.
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