Food'n'drink Health

No more flavoured instant noodles

Us Bowens occasionally get an upset stomach, something we have dubbed Bowen Belly. Recently it’s been less frequent for me, thankfully.

But on Monday I was foolish.

I was passing through the supermarket and bought one of those instant noodle meals. I wanted a quick cheap easy meal. I must have temporarily forgotten about “tasty” and “nutritious”.

It might sound innocent enough, but in this one was a sachet of chicken-flavoured chemicals which seems to have done me no good at all.

Monday night was not pleasant. My stomach was groaning, gurgling, and painful. The nausea kept me up much of the night. Not nice.

Tuesday morning I was suffering from lack of sleep, and still feeling queasy, so decided to work from home, at least periodically, in between bouts of sleep. Happily most of it had gone by the afternoon, and I was able to venture out of the house.

Now I know why in old Britcoms they take the mickey out of pot noodles. For example, Red Dwarf’s Dave Lister saying he’d rather eat dog food. I note from the Wikipedia entry that one flavour, “Bacon Sizzler” was withdrawn after health concerns…

The lesson here: don’t eat crap. If I want a quick easy noodle meal (at a not unreasonable place) there’s a perfectly good noodle place near home which will do me a freshly cooked meal for about $9 — as well as several other options on the way home from the station.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

9 replies on “No more flavoured instant noodles”

Ick. You poor thing. Is it worth noting down the chemicals and ‘numbers’ that are listed and try to avoid these in other pre-packaged type things?

On a positive note, you know about it, and know what to avoid!

One really easy recipe is to cut a smallish tomatoe in half and float in some 5 minute noodles as you cook, then drain and eat. Tastes quite good in fact, and leaves you feeling satisfied.

Another one, not as tasty, is to grate half a carrot and cook it with some rice using absorbtion method. Add some extra water for the carrot, exact amount is not critical. The carrot seems to absorb the water and stop the rice from getting gluggy or overcooking too quickly. Not particularly tasty but certainly edibal and it feels like food (unlike everything past the 4th mouthfull of instant meals) and this too leaves you satisfied.

Instant couscous only needs boiling water poured over it from a kettle. I then whack a tin of sardines or tuna over the top and add whatever I might have in the fridge to gussy it up: lemon rind, coriander, soy sauce, chilli, a blog of plain yoghurt… Dinner in under 5 minutes!

[COMMENT DELETED. I welcome opinions that differ from my own. But they must be coherent, and not abusive. Feel free to re-submit yours.]

I have eaten and enjoyed instant noodles on occaision for many years with no ill effects. I do not live off of them however. I use the kind in a package, not the ones in a styrofoam cup. These noodles usually contain monosodium glutimate (MSG), a flavor enhanser that some people react badly to.

I have noticed that ingredient labels in Australia tend to use a series of numbers to list certian ingredients such as “mineral salt (508)” and “preservitive (220)” from the vegemite label. In the US the actual ingredient or chemical will be clearly written in the ingredient list.

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