The world lost some very important people over winter break. Most people will be missed, such as James Brown, Gerald Ford, and Darrent Williams. Saddam Hussein, however: probably not so much.
There was one other person, however, whose passing didn’t receive as much media attention, although I believe he certainly deserved it. Although he was unknown by most people, his creation is enjoyed worldwide, especially among the college-age population. I’m of course referring to Momofuko Ando, the Japanese inventor of instant noodles.
Tragically, Ando passed away on Jan. 5 from a heart attack. He was 96.
Ando was born in Taiwan in 1910, but moved to Japan in 1933. In 1948 he founded Nissin Food Products Co, and in an effort to relieve food shortages plaguing Japan following World War II, he came up with the idea of instant noodles.
Ando’s dream finally came to fruition in 1958 with the invention of “Chicken Ramen.” Although quite an accomplishment in itself, he wasn’t finished. In 1971 “Cup Noodle” was released, allowing for an incredibly simple and fast meal.
According to news agency Agence France Presse, Nissin has gone on to sell an estimated 85.7 billion servings per year.
Ando’s invention even went to space when “Space Ram” went aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 2005.
Of course I think it’s safe to say that Ramen and Cup Noodle have more significance to college students than the average person. I know these simple noodle meals have become a major staple in my diet ever since I’ve had to cook on my own. In fact, this winter they got me out of quite a bind.
The day before I was planning go back home for break, Blizzard ’06 hit. Like many people living in the Front Range, I was trapped in my own house. My fridge was all out of frozen pizza and I couldn’t order out for pizza. What was I to do?
Not only that, but I was out of milk, eliminating the option of cooking some Easy Mac.or just eating cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Fortunately though, a great man had many years before come up with a meal that only requires water and a heat source. So thank you Mr. Ando! Because of you I didn’t go hungry for two straight days.
Well, I hope I’ve educated all of you on what Momofuku Ando has done for all us college kids who are too lazy to make a decent meal or just too cheap to buy anything else. And although he is no longer with us, I know he will always be remembered.
Andy Nicewicz is a senior political science major. His column appears every Monday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.