The two faces of Noma

I’ve been oddly obsessed with food lately, and became curious about Noma, the Danish restaurant famous for its vegetable-based haute cuisine, going at a few hundred bucks per meal. Searching for “Noma” online, however, mixed together this world with another.

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google screenshot

Out of sheer unintended coincidence, Noma is also the name of a disease (in the restaurant’s case, noma stands for nordisk mad, Nordic food). It is a gangrene caused by poor hygiene and nutrition, with a 90% mortality rate, and –although known since antiquity– today affects mainly the poorest people on Earth, in sub-Saharan Africa, and mostly children. 

The two “Noma’s” in Google Images are staggeringly extreme example of the differences in life in the global North and South. The Noma of the North is expensive fine dining. The Noma of the South is a disease of poverty.

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