I am very slow with completing books this semester, so I thought that it would be fun to have a progress report of my reading. This is an online reading group where all the participants set aside time to read every Sunday and blog about the experience.
Since I have a paper and an exam that I need to complete this week, I only read one essay in Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant. The essay was entitled, "Instant Noodles" and was about a student from Thailand who came to the United States for study and found comfort in instant noodles. One of my favorite passages was how the Thai government had donated noodles to Ethiopia to help feed the hungry. (I believe this was when there was a severe hunger crisis in Ethiopia; I was in second/third grade) The Ethiopian government rejected the donation because the noodles had no nutritional value. I thought this was incredible because I remembered in an Epidemiology class, a speaker telling us that there was a hurricane and the fritos company donated potato chips. The speaker said that the people really needed rice and beans, but had to take the chip donations. I wondered what made countries able to reject some donations and not others. If I had to guess, I would say that chips may be worse for you than instant noodles. Although, there is probably something that I am missing.
This essay highlighted another theme in the book which is how food can remind us of home. I also appreciated (as a person who has been living away from the people I grew up with for quite some time) how even eating something familiar can remind you of the companionship that you miss.