I’m sure you heard about the man from Colorado who, in 2007, developed a serious lung condition after consuming microwave popcorn on a daily basis. Or how about the Block Buster Video employee who would pop 30 bags of microwave popcorn in a small room in the store and then pour the popped corn into a popcorn machine to give the appearance of fresh popped corn. She had a lung biopsy at the Mayo Clinic and she has bronchiolitis obliterans (popcorn lung). She was waiting for a lung transplant. This condition is usually only found in people who work in popcorn plants. These cases raised serious concern about microwave butter-flavored popcorn. A review got underway on the safety of DIACETYL which is the chemical that adds the butter flavour to popcorn. This chemical is very toxic and is responsible for destroying the lungs of many workers in the microwave popcorn factories. Apparantly regulators have known about this risk for years. Diacetyl is found in many flavored snack foods. You must read labels to avoid this chemical. Because of the case of “popcorn lung” in these people and others the FDA continues to study the risks of “diacetyl exposure”. Some microwave manufacturers have discontinued use in their products but the replacement chemical is not much safer.
A second danger in the popcorn for microwaves is the coating inside the bags. When heated this coating breaks down and becomes a substance called perfluorooctanoic. This has been identified as a carcinogen. A study has found that acid extracted from this chemical causes cancer in animals and is a potential cancer link in humans.
The best way to enjoy popcorn is to use an air popper and loose kernels or pop the kernels in healthy oil in a pot with lid on your stovetop.
Popcorn is my favorite snack food. When I get the craving for some freshly popped popcorn I pull out my pot and lid. Put 3 tablespoons of organic coconut oil in the pot. I add organic popcorn kernels to cover the bottom of the pot. Put the lid on. Turn up the heat. Shake the pot until the corn stops popping and let the steam out by lifting the lid a tiny bit on one side. Allowing the steam to escape will keep the popcorn crunchy. I then pour it into a big bowl and sprinkle Himalayan salt all over it. If I want a different taste like “cheese popcorn” then I sprinkle Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast Seasoning on the popped corn. This is so yummy. The nutritional yeast has only 20 calories per tablespoon and contains B3, B6, Riboflavin (B2), Thiamin (B1), Folic Acid and vitamin B12. It adds great nutrition to the popcorn.
Snacking can be healthy. Give up the microwave corn and go back to the old fashioned and healthier way of making your next bowl of hot, crunchy popcorn. Why risk your health on convenience.