Processed food like ramen noodles and gummy bears are bad for you. Now, for the first time ever, you can see how for yourself.
Artist and provacateur Stefani Bardin‘s newest project M2A™:The Fantastic Voyage offers a graphic look at how the gastrointestinal tract (GI) processes a meal of Top Ramen, Gummy Bears and Blue Gatorade versus a meal of hand made noodles, pomegranate/cherry juice gummy bears, and hibiscus gatorade.
Bardin worked in collaboration with gastroenterologist Dr. Braden Kuo of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital to launch the first ever clinical study using the M2A™ Capsule (mouth-to-anus) to record video of the digestion process. They also used a SmartPill wireless gastroenterology device to capture rich time, pressure, and pH data of how the GI tract reacts as each kind of food is digested. Bardin worked with Mike Lee of Studiofeast to design the whole foods menu.
While the final results are not published yet- Bardin and Kuo are raising money to run more trials- the video is a disturbing look at how difficult it is for the body to break down food made for shelf-life. Which makes sense, given the ingredients used to preserve and give them their color are derived from petrochemicals and butane. Perhaps more disturbing, however, is that fact that “since artificial colorings and flavorings are considered the intellectual property of a company, manufacturers are not required to divulge this information since it could potentially do economic harm to their business if someone stole their trade secrets,” says Bardin.
The goal of this project?
Bardin explains, “to present unseen and often veiled information about our food system in unexpected ways, so that the public is in possession of as much knowledge as possible in order to make informed choices about the food they eat.”