2016 12 8 instant noodles food main

1945 was a rough year for Japan.

The country went from a powerful industrial empire to a smoking, radioactive ruin overnight, and suddenly their biggest problem was figuring out how to feed everyone.

By way of a weak apology, the USA donated a massive load of flour to Japan, figuring that the cheapest and easiest way for people to dig themselves out of famine was to start making bread. But that was a distinctly Western attitude -- the Japanese aren't exactly known for their bread and they didn't have the ability to manufacture it in great quantities.

Instead, they made noodles. But overturning an apocalypse with noodles presented its own problems -- they took time to make and to prepare. Inventor Momofuku Ando watched people lining up for hours in the bitter cold just for a hot bowl of noodles, and he figured this problem could be solved if they had faster noodles. So fast that it comes in an instance. Like instant noodles!


Ando didn't limit his aspirations to saving Japan -- he wanted to come up with something that could feed the whole world. Instant noodles were his answer. Chicken noodles in particular, because he thought unlike beef or pork, there's no culture on Earth that prohibits eating chicken.

Since after World War 2, instant noodles took Japan by storm, soon spreading across the globe and making Ando a wealthy businessman. Instant noodles didn't exactly solve world hunger as Ando had hoped, but at the very least, they solved every college student’s hunger.

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