An Open Letter to MAMA Instant Noodles

Dear MAMA:

I found your product earlier this week next to the Cock Flavored Soup.


The “Instant Bowl Noodles Shrimp (Tom Yum) Flavour Base,” aside from breaking more sentence structure rules than I care to count, actually looked tasty.


Wow!  Look at those shrimp.  They’re almost big enough to give individual names to.  Hell, I didn’t even know they had shrimp in Vietnam.  I mean, I never saw Marg Helgenberger eating shrimp on China Beach.

The curiosity got to me.  While I was cooking the water to pour in the bowl, I decided to research shrimp in Vietnam. As it turns out, Vietnam sends us 100 million pounds of shrimp a year—roughly 10% of our supply.

The water is boiling now. I don’t immediately see the shrimp when I pour the water over the noodles, but I figured they were nestled up inside somewhere, perhaps hiding from the inevitable.  Shrimp are shy like that.

While I’m waiting the prescribed three minutes, my curiosity peaks. I keep reading about shrimp in Vietnam and the headlines go from informative to horrifying.

shrimp headlines

Out of curiosity, I decide to inspect the shrimp in the soup.  I don’t know what I was looking for.  Eating was out of the question. Somehow, though, I felt like I owed the shrimp at least a passing glance before I throw them away.

Here’s what I found:


You’re kidding, right?  This isn’t a fragment of the shrimp—it’s the whole thing.  Having grown up in a fast food nation, I know things are not always as they appear on the menu.  Hell, one look at Grindr is a reminder that people always advertise with the best possible image, even if it’s not an accurate representation.

That having been said, size matters.  Your representation is hundreds of times the size of the actual product.  If you pulled something like that on Grindr, the gay community would exile you to Sue Ellen’s for the remainder of your days.

Regardless, I guess it means that the shrimp in the photo got a larger helping of pig feces than the ones in my bowl.  What happened?!  Did a factory worker go out to the stockyard and say, “That’ll do pig, that’ll do,” while the remaining shrimp were left to starve in isolation?

I don’t know if you did me a favor or if you’ve defrauded me, but at the end of the day I am both dissatisfied and disgusted.  If we were Facebook friends, I’d block you.



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