Instant Food

I have always been fascinated by mass produced products. The standardized design, the variations between products of lower quality, and the compromises made to enable mass production all interest me much.

Foods are no exception. Whether it be instant noodles (in packets or in disposable bowls), frozen pizzas, microwave meal boxes, or convenient store bento, I always like to try them out.

Depending on the process of manufacture, these food can range from tasting very similar to their hand-made counterpart, to barely edible at all. Sometimes they taste good, while not resembling anything made by a chef. Products in the same series often have a similarity in taste, even between different contents, or flavors.

The components of the meal is also interesting. Nutrition balance, appearance and standardization all have an impact in designing those menus. Some details can vary between revisions, possibly reflecting feedback or adjusting for fluctuations in ingredient costs.

Were it not for trust issues surrounding the use of possibly dangerous chemicals in the production, I can envision a world where most people live on standardized meals, which will increase efficiency on the most important part of everyone's life. Cooking will then become a hobby or a choice, just like biking to work, or making one's own bookshelf.