Your ramen is possibly unhealthy

Because instant ramen is first and foremost about eating healthy, it seems only sensible to pull it from your local grocer when potentially cancer-causing ingredients are found therein.

The health authorities have ordered Nongshim to recall six of its instant noodle brands as small amounts of a cancer-causing substance have been detected in them.

Officials of the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) said Thursday they had told the food maker to remove all ramen made with katsuobushi, or smoke-dried bonito, that contain benzopyrene from store shelves.

You have been warned.

  • Brendon Carr

    Katsuobushi is obviously bad: It has a Japanese name.

  • cm

    I never eat that stuff that’s been fried in oil and the soup powder made with unknown chemicals, natrium, and msg. I knew it was a cancer causing food, they never had to do all that study.

  • DLBarch

    Good for you, CM.

    For the life of me, I have NEVER understood the appeal of instant ramen. Hell, I’ve even had Korean friends in Seoul inform me that they pack their own supply of packages of Shin Ramyun in their suitcases whenever they take business trips abroad.

    That stuff is nasty. N.A.S.T.Y.!


  • JW

    It’s appealing because it’s called “instant” ramen. You can cook it in like 5 minutes. And no, I dare say that it’s not all that unhealthy, as long as you don’t drink the soup, which I would agree is toxic stuff.

  • MrMao

    Nongshim Ramen is one of the best things about Korea, and millions of Korean middle-school children agree with me. It’s cheap, it’s fast and it’s full of salt which is rad when you are hungover on crappy Korean beer and second-hand smoke from every bar in Korea. Chugging the broth after you have eaten the noodles is fantastic, a true restorative for your constitution to help you return to your daily perambulations. You can also leave the bowls and wrappers strewn all over the ground, staircase or park bench you are eating on which creates jobs for other Koreans who get to clean it up. The Korean stuff is the best, the Japanese stuff is bland and the western imitations are blander still and have strange flavours. I am happy that Nongshim Ramen is available in Canada, and would buy stock in the company if I weren’t currently confined to solitary confinement in a maximum security penitentiary for racist internet hate crimes against a certain Asian ‘race.’ Cancer? Not so awesome.

  • CactusMcHarris

    I’m tellin’ ya, the first time I had fresh ramen (after drinking a lot then riding a train from Shinjuku to Yamato) I was sold. That premade stuff is pure dreck. I’d rather be buried up to my neck in human excrement….well, maybe not that. but I hope to never have to eat the prepackaged stuff again in any lifetime.

  • enomoseki

    Nongshim sucks. It’s all about Paldo ramen.

  • bumfromkorea

    I gotta admit, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I’m objectively aware of how crappy it is, but I still crave it from time to time.

    Btw, someone get mrmao a hot cocoa before he starts publicly wishing for Korean children to die from high sodium diet. Looks like he had a bad week. Again.

  • Jakgani

    Benzopyrene is also in coffee.

    Will they order all coffee to be removed from shops?

    Katsuobushi is basically dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna, which is sprinkled on top of the ramien.

    It’s also in the stuffing for rice balls, a seasoning for cold tofu and atop cold soba noodles.

  • pawikirogii 石鵝

    i dont use their broth powder. i use the beef tashida so i can cut down on the salt. much better though i agree instant noodles are nasty. you can take a half pound of hamburger and fry with some pepper. then place that in a bowl. pour one revolution of soy and half a revolution of sesame oil and then green onions. mix then use as topping. filling and tasty.

  • TheKorean2

    It’s probably radioactive.

  • cm

    I think Korean stuff are nastier than the Japanese stuff. The amount of salt, and other kinds of power flavoring is much more intense in the Korean ramyun. The Japanese ramen has a softer milder taste which could be too bland for some people. Certainly for Koreans it’s not spicy and salty enough. But I prefer the milder less salty less spicy taste. I don’t eat the stuff anymore but when I get the craving once in a while, maybe two or three times a year, I cook the Ichiban brand of ramen, shrimp flavor. My wife doesn’t get it, why I like Ichiban. She says there’s no taste to it.

  • cm


    Beef Dashida is also artificial flavoring including msg and salt. It’s not much different from the instant noodle soup packets. lol.. oh well, at least you can control the amount you put into the soup. Just don’t put too much.

  • bumfromkorea

    When it comes to ramen, I have a palate of a 4 year old, so I can’t handle Japanese ramen.

    But aside from an occasional cancer ramen binge, I do try to cut down on my sodium (my diet always having been surrounded by kimchi and soy sauce…)

  • broona

    I don’t eat instant ramen because it’s very processed, but the taste of samyang ramen is actually really good. It’s much better than shin ramen. It’s just too bad they’re all so bad for you. As for ichiban, it’s only good if you add lots of kimchi.

  • JG29A

    What??? The stuff I bought to eat with my soju and Marlboros contains cancer-causing ingredients?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    Ever bother to read the label? 75% of the daily recommended saturated fat. Does wonders for your cholesterol. You might as well be sucking down doughnuts, instead.

  • keith

    Ramen is disgusting stuff, I don’t know how people can eat it. I only ate instant noodles when I was a very poor student. I try and eat as much fresh food as possible. Pretty much the only thing that comes out of a can in my kitchen is tomatoes as the quality of tomatoes in Korea is often terrible.

    Fresh noodles are a different matter entirely, they have a great texture, aren’t bad for you and in the right broth they can be absolutely delicious. The best noodles I’ve had were in Tokyo, bonkers expensive, but delicious.

  • broona

    Fresh noodles may not be unhealthy, but I don’t think they’re good for the belly. So I try to stay away. Too bad there are so many delicious noodle dishes from around the world.

  • Todd M

    I played golf today with two professors of food science from a respectable university who told me that there really is no danger and that the level discovered is below the acceptable level. Although there is always a (big) chance of a layperson such as myself misunderstanding an expert, especially in a second language, they didn’t seem to think it was anything to worry about. Possibly another overblown fear to sell news to the masses.

  • enomoseki

    Shin Ramyun is like crack to Koreans.

    Just like how those shitburgers they serve in US/Canada is like a crack to Americans.

  • JW

    Precisely enomoseki. By the way some of these guys talk, you wouldn’t think that they ever heard of junk food. My question to people who think ramyeon is “disgusting”, do you mean that it doesn’t *taste* good? I have trouble believing that it’s an acquired taste. I remember some of my friends in college (admittedly they were international students) who tried shin ramyeon and immediately became huge fans.

  • broona

    Nongshim bowl noodles are sold at our local Costco here in so. Cal. alongside nissin instant cup ramen. I was surprised to see them there.

  • littlebrownasian

    Tsh! Some things are blown out of proportion. As long as you don’t eat ramyeon occasionally (not morning, noon and night like there’s no tomorrow), that’s fine.

    Who doesn’t want a little indulgence every now and then, eh?

  • littlebrownasian

    Correction: that should have been “As long as you eat ramyeon occasionally…”

  • ZenKimchi

    I was censored on my old EBS-FM show from mentioning that 라면 could be unhealthy. They feared the mob would go after the station for saying such blasphemy. So we continued to pass along the usual verbal pabulum instead.

  • jk641

    Pretty much the only thing that comes out of a can in my kitchen is tomatoes as the quality of tomatoes in Korea is often terrible.

    Better stay away from canned tomatoes.
    BPA you know..

  • Q

    Nongshim 새우깡 that contained a mouse head — that was the ominous overture of the LBM administration.

  • jk641

    You mean the LBJ administration?

  • Q

    I’m sorry. I mean LMB. And his admin is concluding with the smoke of Nongshim benzopyrene. What a 인연!

  • jk641

    Stop blaming LMB for Nongshim’s troubles.
    You’re making Korean lefties look bad.

  • Q

    I am not blaming LMB for Nongshim scandal. Just amused by the coincidental signs. 😉

  • Q

    Also I do not think expressing discontent on LMB does not make one a leftist. I do not like No Muhyun administration, nor his inheriting figures either. That might explain the popularity of ACS, which is attributed to people’s sickness on corrupt party politics.

  • jk641

    Say what you may about LMB.
    5-10 years from now Koreans may be talking about how great things were when LMB was president.

  • Q

    I assume LMB cheated his way into presidency covering up BBK scandal (I preferred PGH to be a president in 2007 election). He is concluding his presidency with disgraceful family corruption. Yeah, in 5-10 years, it is highly probably that he be sitting at jail.