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2008-10-17

>self-heating train lunch box, ekiben, 加熱式駅弁

Self-heating cans existed during World War II. Quicklime added to water produces heat. Apparently its history goes further back, to the turn of the century pioneers.

In our time,
flameless chemical ration heaters appreciated by soldiers on the field are mostly ignored by pampered civilians living in office and home microwave cocoons. We don't need this portable source of heat in the kitchen.

A company which is trying to apply this ancient technology to our modern lives,
OnTech (Ontro), seems to be concentrating their efforts on beverage. Coffee, mostly, and it seems to me their effort is slightly misguided.

Think of a place where you'd need this convenience the most. Long hikes (not camping, necessarily - it is fun to fire up that little butane stove), long train rides. it's not too hard to carry a little hot thermos, and I don't mind cold drinks in any case.

It is still pretty neat to ponder, however, a self-heating lunch box.

In Japan (and China - 自熱式, self-heating style), there are actually enough people on the trains for this convenience to be viable. And here they are, the self-heating meals, mistaken for a brand new technology, "latest invention" according to this WSJ.com video caption.

熱式駅弁 (kanetsushiki ekiben) added heat style train station lunch box
過熱式駅弁 (kanetsushiki ekiben) superheating style train station lunch box



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