Video Vault: Think Of This Next Time You Plan To Eat Top Ramen | A Black Girl's Guide To Weight Loss

Video Vault: Think Of This Next Time You Plan To Eat Top Ramen


Originally posted 2012-02-09 10:30:53.

Apparently, this really happened:

Avoiding processed foods can be difficult, especially when living on a tight budget. This noodle-eye-view of Top Ramen and Gatorade traveling into your stomach might make you go the extra mile. The video is just a preview of a project called M2A: The Fantastic Voyage by media artist Stefani Bardin. M2A refers to an ingestible capsule literally dubbed Mouth-to-Anus, which contains a camera and LED capable of recording the whole messy journey. The captured video is combined with data from a separate capsule that senses pH and pressure in the gastrointestinal tract.

One subject was fed a meal of Top Ramen, Gatorade, and Gummi Bears, while the other was fed hand-made noodles, pomegranate/cherry juice gummy bears, and hibiscus “Gatorade” (presumably home-made). The result is an intimate portrait of how our bodies break down processed vs whole foods.

So…I’m just sayin’. Actually… I’m hurlin’. This takes me back to a finals week in college where I survived on nothing but top ramen, microwaveable popcorn bags and cheap chocolate kisses. I came out of that week twitching and scratching. Good grief.

I will say this, though:  “Top ramen noodles are made to survive armageddon.” had me dying. I’m still laughing. Pardon me while I go stock my panic room with twinkies and top ramen. Shrimp flavor.

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The proud leader of the #bgg2wlarmy, Erika Nicole Kendall writes health, fitness, nutrition, body image and beauty, and more here at #bgg2wl. After losing over 150lbs, Kendall became a personal trainer certified in fitness nutrition, women's fitness, and weight loss from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She now lives in New York with her family, and is working on her 4th, 5th and 6th certificates.


  1. lexdiamonz

    February 9, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    I was going to grab some take out after work ummm i am going home and COOK something home-made after seeing that….ewwwww

  2. niksmit

    February 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    I hope you will also be stocking some Pepto, laxatives, and whatever else may be necessary to break that stuff down in your panic room.
    Learning about processed foods has explained my more troubled IBS years so well.

  3. Vee

    February 9, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    LOL @ “Top ramen noodles are made to survive armageddon.”

    Erika I remember eating those ramen noodles in college too..those things had way too much sodium.

    Excerpted from Video Vault: Think Of This Next Time You Plan To Eat Top Ramen | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

  4. Lakisha

    February 9, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Cool video. Its just extra encourgement to continue to eat right. Gross. So Gross.

  5. Naomi

    February 9, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Must this be posted the day after I ate ramen?? lol! But thank God it was home made Korean ramen, fresh with kimchi and peppers. Washed it down with a homemade almond milk and do-match green tea powder shake. I will admit, about once every other month around “that time” I get a hankering for packaged .13c ramen. Conditioning I guess. I resisted and got the fresh stuff. Taste is remarkably different.

  6. Lethal Astronaut

    February 9, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    One of the main changes I’m making with my own weight loss program (and it’s working – 10 pounds down in a month WOOOHOOO!) is to make foods from scratch, cook properly, and eat mostly fruit, veggies, and our own meats from our own animals (we live on a farm).

    This has absolutely convinced me we’re doing the right thing. Apart from the fact that you have NOT tasted chicken or lamb until you’ve tasted our organically-raised, free-range animals (the difference between supermarket meat and our happy and well-treated animals is unbelievable), it’s so much healthier.

    But the real difference that has surprised me has been how quickly I’m making meals for the four of us, and how much more cheaply. I’ve bought a couple of cookbooks titled “5 pm panic” and similar, published by the Healthy Food Guide, and the recipes take 20 minutes or thereabouts to cook. You can’t even cook a frozen pizza in that amount of time!

    We used to buy a lot of 2 minute noodles and such for our kids, and they loved them. Since changing our ways, we just stopped buying them, and the kids actually prefer eating healthy now. I had to stop taking the kids food shopping with me, but that was just a quick shuffle in my schedule, and has also saved me $$ because I don’t have to buy all the treats they grovelled for and I would end up buying them.

    Thanks again. Your blog continued to be one of the best on the net – and not just for black girls (says this white New Zealander!)

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      February 9, 2012 at 10:41 PM


    • Kat

      January 22, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      I can not stress enough how processed food is very damaging to one’s body. Majority, of processed foods is not food anymore. There is little to any nutritional substances you will receive and plenty of unwanted chemical garbage!

      Thanks for sharing, I would love to see the whole documentary!

  7. kiesh

    February 16, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    this is just…striking. wow.

  8. T

    February 20, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Wow. I’m glad I saw this video. Throwing out all processed food from my cabinet as we speak.

  9. Eldaka

    March 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Wow!. That was an interesting video. I’ll think twice before buying processed food again.

  10. Me

    April 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I applaud the intentions of this video, but to be fair, both meals fall under the category of processed regardless of the ingredients used to make them–there’s no way for noodles to be considered whole, since you have to mix ingredients to create them. Just about everything we eat is “processed” one way or another, even if it’s just spraying organic carrots with vegetable cleanser before transporting them to the farmer’s market.

    I think it’s great for everyone to be conscious of the food we eat, but we shouldn’t be so easily swayed by titles/labels. Not all processed foods are bad for you (i.e. the home-made noodles in the video), and even meals made with whole foods as ingredients can be made to be unhealthy depending on how you prepare the meal (i.e. how much salt was added to the home-made noodles). The video could be a great tool to stress the importance of reading the ingredients in the food we eat. It’s all about *managing* our eating habits.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      April 9, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      I think it’s obvious that both meals fall under the category of processed foods. If we want to split hairs down to infinite levels, cooking an item is putting it through a process.

      The issue is the ingredients, and always has been. I think the video makes that clear.

      • Me

        June 14, 2012 at 11:27 AM

        I’m not trying to split hairs. I’m just saying it’s a disservice to give some foods a title that most foods fall under. There’s more to health than just avoiding “bad” foods, and titles only sensationalize one piece of the overall bigger picture. Health is about habits. Eating too much of a healthy food has the same effect as eating too much of anything–poor health. I don’t shy away from nor indulge in processed foods or any food that I generally enjoy based on its status on the scale of health, yet my weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, stamina, etc all fall well within acceptable levels. I’m just saying focus more on the big picture because foods that win the “bad for you” title change like fashion. So beware the urge to latch onto the “death to processed foods” mantra of late.

        Manage the habit. That applies to more than just food.

        • Erika Nicole Kendall

          June 14, 2012 at 11:38 AM

          …but that’s what you’re doing.

          Saying things like “most foods fall under the title of processed food” is the most epic hair splitting I’ve seen in a long time.

          You manage the habit by managing the food… and, more often than not, processed food is the problem because it IS, in fact, the habit… especially when it encourages suspect habits like binge eating.

          If you consume processed food and still manage to maintain your health, that’s fantastic. You’re not the only one out there who can. It is obvious that many others out there do not. Your reality is not the reality of others, and the dismissive tone in your comment, as if to imply that “it couldn’t “possibly” be the food, it’s just the people,” smacks of the same bull from the “it’s just your will power!” camp. I’m not interested in giving space to that, or these comments teetering on the verge of shilling for the food industry.

          Phenomenal hair splitting. Good grief.

  11. lynaya

    June 12, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    this is great encouragement to avoid processed foods. Thank you.

  12. DebbieDew

    June 13, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Eww! Too freaked to watch it.

  13. Shannon

    June 16, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    OK, so what does this video prove? One meal took longer to break down, but apparently it did break down. No, I don’t think that artificial colors are good for anyone, but this “study” lacks information. What did it set out to prove (what was their hypothesis)? What did the measurments they took reveal? Was there any physicla damage done by the processed food. Please understand, I’m not for processed food, but I need more info here. Thanks.

    • Erika Nicole Kendall

      June 16, 2012 at 1:37 PM

      It’s not a matter of being a “study” that “proves” something. This shows how effective hyperprocessed foods can be on something known as satiety.

      The argument goes that food that processes super quickly – also known as hyperprocessed foods – contributes to weight gain because of their inability to actually leave you feeling satiated and satisfied. Food that is hyperprocessed also processed through the digestive system quickly, resulting in you feeling hungry faster than you originally might’ve been had you simply eaten something with more wholesome ingredients.

  14. autumnbreeze

    July 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    No lie….those ramen noodles looked like worms.

  15. Sophia

    January 13, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    To me, there is a difference between processed food and arguing that foods are process regardless.

    Processed foods, as I think most would agree, are foods that are already made….and store on market shelves, freezers, and refrigerated aisles. Depending on how much processed (how they were cooked, canned, and what additional “ingredients” were put in them), does matter in how they will process in your body.

    Ramen noodles, I would rank up there as processed as McD’s hamburger. They got so much crap in them…and that’s why I don’t eat them all the time…if hardly. I will only eat Ramens if there is hardly any food in the house. Yet, I try to avoid them most of the me just like I don’t get fast food a lot. It is not good for you.

    Yes, it is true that one can overeat cooked or uncooked healthy foods. It is about having good eating habits and knowing what your own limits are. However, imagine the average college student eating Ramens ALL the time. You can say, sure, they will survive to tell the tale, BUT what is significant to note is that a person can become addicted to eating that. There are people who are former college students who still eat Ramen on a regular basis. I am not judging them, but what I am attempting to express is that you can develop bad eating habits by eating processed foods like Ramen all the time.

    Also, as many will say, Ramen has many bad ingredients than nutritional ones.

  16. lynne

    February 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Omg!! I allow my kid to eat that. NO MORE!

  17. By products of Butane?

    February 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Whether processed or not, the ingredients in the processed foods are used to withstand a shelf life far beyond what is needed, mostly so that these big companies can line their pockets. It doesn’t take 15 ingredients to make noodles certainly not something connected to gasoline.

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