And, of course, we can’t forget popcorn.
We haven’t had microwavable popcorn in our house for years. Originally, I stopped buying them because of Teflon coated popcorn bags. I felt the high heat of microwave and Teflon did not make a good pair. But now there’s another reason. Diacetyl. The chemical Diacetyl is used as an additive to make microwavable popcorn smell like butter. However, when it burns during the process, toxic fume is released and person who inhales the fume repeatedly can become ill with a condition called Popcorn Lung – Bronchiolitis Obliterans – obliteration of tiny airways in the lungs, causing lung illness and in some cases, death. First reported in 1985 by workers in food flavor factories and in 2002, the disease was seen in workers making microwave popcorn — in particular, those exposed to a buttery-tasting chemical called Diacetyl. There have been many other reports since then, with deaths and many patients awaiting lung transplants.
Of course, you would have to inhale the fume repeatedly and in large quantities as in the case of factory workers but why take a chance and breathe such toxic fumes? And how about the chemical residue on the popcorn that we are ingesting?
So, what’s the alternative?
You can use organic popcorn kernels and pop them the old-fashioned way: in a BPA free hot air popcorn maker or a skillet. We use an olive oil diffuser and spray the freshly popped corn and add flavoring and salt. Or if we really want some butter flavor, we add melted butter and some salt.
But if you don’t’ have a popcorn machine, here’s an easy way to have popcorn using a brown lunch bag and the microwave.
1. Fill a brown craft paper lunch bag with about ¼ cup of organic popcorn kernels.
2. Spray with olive oil and some salt and shake the bag to coat the kernels with oil.
3. Tie or tape the bag securely and squeeze most of the air out but leaving some room for steam to vent.
4. Place the bag flat on a microwave-safe plate and heat on a High setting until you hear the popping sound slowing down – about three to four seconds apart – for about four minutes.
5. Remove the bag from the microwave and open carefully. The escaping steam will be very hot.
6. Butter ‘em up, sprinkle some paprika, salt or any other spices you want and enjoy!
Another reason to make home made popcorn besides it being ridiculously CHEAP! The organic popcorn kernels that I buy is $2.66 for the 28 oz bag. That’s 9 cents per oz! I still have the bag from last year! You can’t go wrong with cheap Non-GMO Organic popcorn that are so much healthier for you!
Brown Paper Bag PopcornCC image via Flickr by Tony Crider