Instant Ramen Just Turned 50: And it's still delicious (and nutritious?)

As I wrote about earlier this week in Common Prayer, I am attempting to eat more conscientiously. This means eating healthier, eating more local foods that are grown sustainably, and basically learning whatever I can about what I’m eating. Unfortunately, my quest to eat better and more responsibly has been thwarted by the fact that my refrigerator is full of barely recognizable leftovers, condiments, and some olives (green olives. yuck.)

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See. If you look back there you can see something that used to be king ranch chicken.

So, this evening I ate the following: 1 package of Ramen noodles, 1 granola bar, and a chunk of mozzarella.

I ceased to be hungry after eating these things, but still felt somehow unsatisfed.

Still, in my quest to “educate myself about my food” I decided to find out a little bit about instant ramen noodles.

And I learned that instant ramen noodles just turned 50. On Thursday! (Thank you NPR! Read a fun little NPR commentary here).

Momofuku Ando invented them on August 25, 1958. He was inspired to make them after seeing people waiting in line for ramen noodles during food shortages shortly after World War II, and realizing "Peace will come to the world when the people have enough to eat.”

And so we are graced with extremely cheap tiny packages of noodles flavored with monosodium glutamate (MSG)*, and “powdered cooked chicken” (according to the package). Delicious.**

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Looks yummy, doesn't it?

*There are lots of things in my noodles that I can’t pronounce, and I’m tempted to look them all up on the internet but I’m pretty sleepy. Still, I did look up MSG because I’ve heard it’s dangerous. As far as I can tell, it’s still on the FDA’s safe list, and the jury is still out on this one

**I ate Maruchen Ramen noodles, though Ando’s company is Nissin.