Rice vs. Ramen

eyewire, citizen science, Flyx, Nurro, rice, ramen

When you need a big bowl of something warm and tasty, chances are you want some kind of staple carbs to help deliver all the other ingredients! But is your carb of choice something like tiny grains, or are you more into long noodles?

This is a tough choice for HQ! So we’re asking you: rice, or ramen? Feel free to think of broader categories of grains and noodles to help you decide. This competition starts at 11 AM EST on 2/8 and goes for 48 hours!

Your teams:


  • The core of most diets around the world, rice was first domesticated in eastern and/or southern Asia somewhere between 8,200 to 13,500 years ago.
  • What’s the healthiest rice? Wild or brown varieties! As with all grains, a whole, minimally processed rice will give you a lot more nutrients.
  • The word rice came to English speakers through several languages, reaching at least as far back as the Greek word ὄρυζα (oruza). It’s not yet clear exactly which language the Greeks got it from, but probably Tamil or Old Persian.


  • Ramen itself is not that old! The noodles we know today may have been adapted in mid-19th century Japan from Chinese variants. However, wheat noodles in general are probably at least a couple thousand years old.
  • Forget bare-bones microwave ramen! If you want the full ramen experience, load it with all the fixings: common additions include braised pork, boiled eggs, green onions, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, seaweed, and more!
  • In Japanese, 拉麺 (rāmen) means “pulled noodles,” and it refers to either the noodles themselves or the dish containing them.

Bonuses are detailed in your notifications. Good luck! For science!

Artwork by Anna Fernandez