Instant noodles are so much more than a college-student favorite. The dorm room staple also serves “an important role in satiating hunger and sustaining lives for many worldwide, including those hanging on under difficult circumstances,” according to Gewertz, an anthropology professor at Amherst College.

This book is a tour of the past, present and future of “one of the most remarkable industrial foods ever,” and makes the case that its humble role will become even more important in feeding an increasingly huge human population.