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Can instant noodles help in combating world hunger?

world Updated: Aug 27, 2013 01:58 IST
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As governments and food expertsponder over how to feed a ballooning global population, researchers claim to have found a possible solution: instant noodles.

Instant noodles serve “an important role in satiating hunger and in sustaining lives for many worldwide, including those hanging on under difficult circumstances,” according to Deborah Gewertz, Professor of Anthropology at Amherst College in US and her two colleagues.

In their new book, Gewertz and her colleagues examine the history, manufacturing, marketing and consumption of the ubiquitous foodstuff and make the case that instant noodles will have an increasingly significant global role in the coming years.

“As a protean food designed for quotidian consumption, instant noodles have already shown a remarkable capacity to ease themselves into diverse lives,” she said.

“We expect that the calories provided by the tasty, convenient, cheap, shelf-stable, industrially prepared instant noodles will remain important” as food becomes scarcer in the future, said Gewertz.

Gewertz and co-authors describe the biophysiology of human taste, provide insight into how marketers penetrate new markets with industrial foods and analyse what it takes to feed billions of people.

“Instant noodles, as they are right now, are certainly not going to make people healthy. But they do fill bellies, and they will keep people alive. And I can’t say that is a bad thing,” Gewertz added.