Chemicals in Microwave Popcorn

November 29, 2016 by Marilyn Gemino NutritionEnglish

Who doesn’t love the smell and taste of freshly popped popcorn? It’s yummy and satisfying, but you’ll want to make sure it’s healthy, too, by making your own organic stovetop popcorn.

Why? Other popcorn, including microwave popcorn, can have additives and other unhealthy ingredients, including a chemicalized butter flavor and scent called diacetyl that’s found in some microwave popcorn. In the past, it’s been used in microwave popcorn, but among workers in manufacturing facilities that have used diacetyl, it’s been linked to lung damage and brain damage.

And while some microwave popcorn companies and other food companies manufacturing conventional, processed foods have put a hold on the use of diacetyl, that doesn’t mean the products are good for you now.

In fact, many who’ve stopped using diacetyl in their manufacturing processes have simply replaced it with another chemical ingredient named
2,3-pentanedione (PD), which also gives a buttery flavor and scent. PD can be toxic to the respiratory and neurological systems, too.

Then there are the chemicals used to keep grease and oils from leaking through food wrappers, including microwave popcorn wrapping. They’re called Per- and Polyfluoroalkyls substances, or PFAS, and they can make their way into the food and into your body, where they can mess with the endocrine system.

The bottom line? When it comes to snacks, including popcorn, just keep it pure, simple and healthy.

In fact, here’s a popcorn recipe from our very own Chef Gwen that you’re going to love—and it’s good for you!

So, the next time you have “movie night” or just want a quick, healthy snack, you can pop this up in no time—with no worries about what’s in it because it’s just three ingredients: organic popcorn, coconut oil and Himalayan or sea salt. That’s it!

Here’s how to make it:

1. Heat pan to medium high and add 5 Tablespoons of Garden of Life coconut oil.
2. Test to see if oil is hot enough by adding one kernel of corn and wait until it pops.
3. Once it pops, add ¼ cup Certified USDA Organic certified corn kernels.
4. Add lid to pan and move pan back and forth on the stove top for several minutes until all of the kernels have popped.
5. Remove popcorn and put into a bowl, sprinkle with sea salt.


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