While microwavable popcorn tastes great and is made in a jiffy, it has a dark side. The manufacturing process is harmful to workers and the finished product is laced with unhealthy chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). After reading this article, you’ll likely choose to air pop your popcorn or cook it in a large pan on the stove.
If The Workers Get Sick, Why Would You Eat It?
While the story hasn’t received much publicity thanks to the corporate control of our media, workers in microwavable popcorn manufacturing facilities across the country have sued their employers and won class action lawsuits. Thousands of these employees were exposed to dangerous chemicals used in the production of microwavable popcorn. These facilities make use of an artificial butter flavoring that damages the lungs and can cause cancer. Workers in microwavable popcorn facilities experienced significant breathing problems, known as “popcorn lung”, after working around these harsh chemicals for years. Popcorn lung is a severe scarring of the lungs that can cause death if left untreated. Some of the workers exposed to these harmful chemicals are now on lung transplant wait lists.
Microwavable Popcorn’s Diacetyl
The name of the harshest chemical in microwavable popcorn is diacetyl. Not only does diacetyl cause popcorn lung but it has been connected to brain problems as well. Diacetyl’s fumes have the ability to penetrate the blood barrier of the brain and result in faulty protein folding. This generates a harmful plaque within the brain that causes a myriad of health issues including Alzheimer’s. While many manufacturers of microwavable popcorn have eliminated diacetyl from their facilities and the popcorn’s artificial butter, insiders say that the replacement chemicals are just as bad for the human body.
GMOs, Trans Fats And Proply Gallate
Not only is microwavable popcorn’s artificial butter full of nasty chemicals, the oils and artificial flavorings are also harmful. They contain GMOs that have been linked to multiple health issues. Some microwavable popcorn brands like Popsecret have trans fats that are proven to increase one’s risk for a heart attack and cause the clogging of arteries. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), trans fats are linked to heart disease that causes 7,000 deaths and 20,000 heart attacks per year. While the United States allows manufacturers of microwavable popcorn to make use of a preservative known as proply gallate, it has been banned by several other countries. Scores of scientists and doctors have connected the preservative to health problems like skin rashes, upset stomachs and breathing complications.
Don’t Worry, You Don’t Have to Give Up Popcorn Entirely!
Homemade Popcorn Recipe
If you care about your health but don’t want to miss out on this delicious snack you can easily make your own in just a little time. An air popper is fairly cheap and makes for an easy job but is NOT necessary.
You can go old school and make it right on the stove! (or an open fire if you’re really crafty).
Add 2-4 tablespoons olive or coconut oil and a sprinkle of kosher or himilayian salt (optional) to a medium-large stove top pan. (If you’re not big on salt but want more flavor, you can add just about anything, from cayenne pepper, to curry powder, to sugar).
Add about a cup of organic kernels and give the pan a little shake so they form an even single kernel layer.
Get a lid ready, off to the side, and turn the heat on to medium.
Continue to gently shake the pan so that the kernels are heated evenly on all sides.
As soon as you hear the first kernel pop, close the lid.
Keep gently shaking until the popping dies off to once every 3-5 seconds or so.
Voila! You have beautiful organic popcorn for a fraction of the cost, and it tastes way better and fresher too!
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Image Credits: Flickr