Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Drama

Popcorn, simplified.

Apparently its National Popcorn Day! So to celebrate I thought it was past time to show you how to make popcorn without all the crap that comes in the Act II bag. It should be a no-brainer that buttery flavored powder is laced with all sorts of chemicals, but I thought that making it the old fashioned way was too hard. Not anymore! I’ve got an awesome tip for y’all.

But first, another rant about why you should not eat chemicals. This time I’m talking popcorn.

The bad news: Microwave popcorn, although delicious, is filled with harmful chemicals that can cause infertility, lung disease, and (yes I’ll say it) cancer.

Here are some of the concerns I’ve found:

  • You tug at the corners of a piping-hot bag of microwave popcorn, and a plume of fragrant steam escapes. We hate to point this out, but that steam contains nearly four dozen chemicals—the sources include the buttery flavorings and the ink and glue on the bags—according to a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (oprah.com)
  • Hundreds of factory workers have developed a condition called “popcorn lung,” also known by the medical name bronchiolitis obliterans. The condition is caused by inhalation of diacetyl fumes, which cause scarring in the lungs. Sufferers of popcorn lung have difficulty exhaling, and when severe, the condition can be fatal. (So pretty much it causes emphysema, where your lungs retain CO2. These factory workers might as well light up a couple packs of cigarettes per day. It does the same thing. I do find it humorous that they call it bronchiolitis obliterans, like you are obliterating your bronchioles- the part of your lung which contains alveoli and performs the vital O2 and CO2 exchange.)(abcnews.go.com)
  • Although dozens of foods from Twinkies to red wine contain diacetyl, it is harmless when eaten. The rub is that when heated to high temperatures, like those used to cook microwave popcorn, diacetyl vaporizes and becomes toxic. (featuresblogs.chicagotribute.com)
  • The Food and Drug Administration has never studied the effects of diacetyl, but Conagra Foods, which makes Orville Reddenbacher, told ABC News that it was confident that everyday use of its popcorn was safe for consumers. (Really? Why does this not surprise me. The FDA doesn’t care about what we eat, they’d approve plastic if it tasted good. Oh wait, they already did that too) (abcnews.go.com)
  •  Microwaving can cause the chemicals in the lining of the bag, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), to vaporize and leach into your popcorn:

PFOA’s are “part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA,” says Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy group.

“They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.” (Did you catch that? It causes cancer in lab animals. Don’t freak out that its being tested on animals, be glad that someone is testing it since the FDA obviously doesn’t care. Besides, it would be logical to find a probable correlation to causing cancer in humans as well- and yet it is still being sold.) (featuresblogs.chicagotribute.com)

 The good news: Making popcorn without these chemicals is just as easy. I’ll show you how.

Take 1/2 cup of regular popping corn.

Put it in a brown paper bag. I didn’t have a plain one, so I used a Culver’s bag that hadn’t made its way to the trash yet. (No need to call me out on my hoarding or hipocracy, I’ll admit it) Fold the top down a couple times.

Then lay the bag on its side in the microwave. Set the microwave on 2 minutes and 30 seconds, stopping if you hear 4 seconds of no popping near the end- to prevent burning.

Open your bag to simple, chemical free popcorn. Now go melt some real butter and give Orville a run for his money. (insert evil laugh)

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