To go with my idea of pizza and a movie night, I thought I would write a little blip about all the dangers of microwave popcorn and some alternatives. One would think that sticking a bag of popcorn into the microwave and waiting about 3 minutes for it to pop would be no big deal, but the truth couldn’t be scarier.
According to the FDA, there is a coating on the inside of those lovely little bags of popcorn which contains perfluorooctanoic (PFOA). PFOA has been classified as a likely carcinogen. If that wasn’t bad enough, another study has found an acid that can be extracted from the chemical causes cancer in animals and is “likely to cause cancer in humans.”
To top it off, many companies use a product called diacetyl, an FDA-approved chemical found in the fake butter flavoring. There’s even a debilitating respiratory disease called “popcorn workers lung,” (the medical name of the condition is bronchiolitis obliterans) suffered by microwave popcorn factory workers caused by extended inhalation of the chemical’s fumes.
Some companies have since stopped using diacetyl, but there are many companies that are still using it and there are not required at this time to stop using it. This to me is scary knowing that this chemical is unsafe for humans.
One of the best ways to prevent exposure to these chemicals is to pop your own popcorn. Sure, it takes more than 3 minutes, but it tastes so much better and is much healthier. My favorite purchase in the last year or so is the Whirley Pop popcorn popper. It is so much fun to use and really easy. You can make lots of different recipes including my favorite, cinnamon. If you go on the Whirley Pop website, there are actually 100 free recipes listed. Seriously, you could have a different kind of popcorn every day for 100 days and never have to repeat a recipe!!
Once you go homemade, you will never want to go back to the microwave stuff again!!
Cinnamon Popcorn (from the Whirley Pop website)
2 Tablespoons canola oil 1/2 cup white popcorn 2 Tablespoons sugar Salt, sprinkled to taste Pure ground cinnamon, sprinkled to taste
Place oil in a large pot with lid. Put heat on high and add popcorn, placing lid on top. When popping slows, take off burner. Keep lid on until you don’t hear any more popping. Pour popcorn into a large bowl with lid or cover to shake up with the cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Enjoy.