The Rago

Health Sciences program study reveals prescription-strength laxatives in Stockton Food Hall meals

Written for The Rago by Zuleika Rodriguez Garcia

A recent study conducted by students of the Health Science B.S. program at Stockton University reveals traces of bisacodyl, a strong stimulant laxative that serves as the active ingredient in prescription laxatives such as Dulcolax. The idea to conduct this study came about after several students taking the same section of an ‘Introduction to Human Digestion’ course described rapid bowel movement after having a meal at the Stockton Food Hall at the Nest. 

Dr. Moode–the professor teaching the section of ‘Introduction to Human Digestion’ responsible for the study–said she did not believe the students until she gave in and visited the Nest for dinner one night with some of her colleagues. Within minutes, all four visitors ran to use the restroom. “There were only three stalls available. I would never punch a coworker in any other circumstance, but this was what I can only describe as the Hunger Games in terms of violence, but the Defecation Games in terms of reality.” This was the statement given by Dr. Moode before being escorted to a Stockton Police vehicle for punching said coworker. Upon release, Dr. Moode immediately emailed her students letting them know that a research project was upon them. 

Nick Oberlin, one of the student test subjects in the study described the experience as, “the fastest any food has run through [his] body. It turned into Usain Bolt the minute [he] swallowed it. It was truly shockin-” Oberlin ran to the nearest bathroom before he was able to finish his sentence, disregarding the remainder of his interview. 

Results of the study revealed that alarming amounts of bisacodyl were present in a majority of the food at the popular Stockton dining location. Bisacodyl is known to be one of the fastest oral laxatives available. Dr. Moode explained that some foods—such as sweet potatoes—have naturally occurring laxative effects. “They come from pectin and cellulose, naturally occurring compounds in certain common foods.”

What was astounding to discover was that not only was the compound found not naturally occurring, and in fact a medical grade evacuant, but that bisacodyl was even found in foods that do not have any natural laxative properties. “Not even the water is safe,” said Dr. Moode, while notably glancing over her shoulder at the water bottle that sat on her desk. 

Actions to de-laxate Stockton dining will be taken starting on April Fools Day, 2023.