Thursday, February 9, 2012

Don't Watch This Before You Eat

Harvard gastroenterologist Dr. Braden Kuo and artist Stefani Bardin have created an art "project" that graphically displays the process of food digestion. In the video, they observe how foods are processed differently by the body using wireless pill cameras that subjects swallow after eating. One subject eats processed foods consisting of chicken ramen, blue Gatorade, and gummi bears. The other subject ingests more natural foods like handmade noodles and hibiscus Gatorade (?).

The videos clearly show that processed ramen noodles take much longer to digest that natural handmade noodles. After more than two hours the ramen noodles still are recognizable as pasta whereas the handmade noodles have pretty much broken down into amorphous starches. Something to think about next time you have that order of fried noodles at Panda Express.

Now you know why anesthesiologists want patients to be NPO before surgery. It's no fun trying to suction this muck out of somebody's bronchi after a major aspiration.

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