As noted in some previous posts (Please, no more rice! and the Pasta/Rice Wars) P and I occasionally disagree over what to eat for dinner. Now let’s be honest… rice generally wins out. We eat far (far) more rice than pasta on a daily basis, however there are those days where “Ke khana?” or “What’s for dinner?” becomes a debate with one of us responding…. “[pasta/rice] again?”

So last night when we got home from work P was reading something on his laptop when he solemnly said, “Bad news Merf, come see.” I thought it was something serious, so I jumped up to read over his shoulder, and then I saw he was reading an article in The Guardian newspaper from the UK. The title and byline read, “The world’s favourite foods: interactive—Pasta has been named the world’s favourite food, narrowly beating meat or rice dishes and pizza, in a new global survey by Oxfam into the way the world eats today.” [emphasis mine].

Pasta is the winner—woot woot, happy dance.

Even though the Guardian vindicated my pasta pushing, I can’t help but admit I’m surprised. With the populations of China and India alone I’m shocked that pasta can beat out rice. Last night D, P and I were talking about it at dinner—reasoning that Latin American and Caribbean countries often eat rice and bean combos not to mention all the rice inspired Asian cuisines. That seems like a lot of the world pop right there. African countries have their own staples—like corn meal cakes (ugali in East Africa), cous cous (North Africa), or fufu (in West/Central Africa), and although the US and Europe eat quite a bit of pasta, it just doesn’t seem to be enough to beat out rice.

I wish the report was fleshed out more, with some links to the Oxfam study, but I’ll take my small victory for now, particularly with P’s parents arriving on June 29th, I think I’m going to be eating a lot of rice in the next few months.

If you want to see the article and scroll over countries to see the most widely eaten foods click HERE.

Oops! Spoke too soon… BCC actually had a more fleshed out article that you can read HERE which explains that after Italy Venezuela is one of the top consumers of pasta with Tunisia, Chile and Peru, Mexico, Argentina and Bolivia in the top ten (who would have thought?) and that Brazil’s favorite dish is actually Lasagne!

Maybe I can continue my happy dance. Pass the marinara please!

13 responses to “Vindication!

  1. I am not convinced. I think there is fault in their sampling procedure.

  2. They completely left out China. The amount of rice eaten in India and China would be enough to beat the rest of the world, one’d think.

  3. I am sure they included “noodles” as a “pasta” dish.

  4. I am sure they included “noodles” as a “pasta” dish.

  5. It all depends on who was surveyed, in a western newspaper, the sample size would naturally include more people eating pasta…I love pasta too, and actually don’t love rice (barring pulav or biryani) but this survey doesn’t seem accurate to me…

    • americanepali

      Well, if it were just a newspaper, I’d be skeptical. However it was conducted by Oxfam, which is supposed to work with local communities around the world helping with poverty and injustice, so they must know a little more about global communities and food. But it would be interesting to read the actual report.

      • You sound a bit defensive ;)
        I’m also more of a pasta person (as a result of eating rice almost EVERY NIGHT as I was growing up), while L prefers rice. It’s more fresh, he says.
        I join in your vindication but L reckons the survery is skewed…!!

  6. I find it hard to believe but i am printing the article to use in my defense next time we have rice for the 10th night in a row!

  7. yes OXFAM research it must be true

  8. I’m curious. Do they count rice noodles as rice or pasta?

  9. hahah C great question, cannot answer

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