Popcorn is practically a must in any household ESPECIALLY when watching movies! The problem is many people don’t know what their microwavable popcorn bags are loaded with. Would you be surprised to know that the bags contain Perfluoroalkyls? Now you might be wondering what those are… I will explain below. I want to add that aside from the microwave popcorn bags, the popcorn oils used in popcorn machines and even movie theaters are bad choices as well. There is an extremely easy way to avoid those chemicals/toxins and make your own healthy popcorn at home whether you make it in your microwave, stovetop or in a popcorn maker this popcorn is delicious. You can even experiment and make your own flavors.
When I was a kid we ate microwavable bagged popcorn on occasion and I remember thinking how it never tasted like real butter. My husband and I received a mini popcorn machine as a Christmas gift from his parents which we use all the time. I remember when we had it early on we were using the commercial popcorn oils and I cant even explain how much gunky residue would build up all over the machine. It drove me crazy and eventually I realized that the oil probably caused the same issues in our bodies which caused me to do some research. It’s hard for our bodies to digest and those same oils are found in the bags which is why you should just make your own at home. I also no longer have to deal with cleaning the nasty residue off my machine and can just wipe it down within a few minutes.
Why microwavable bagged popcorn and commercial popcorn oils are bad news…
Like I mentioned above the microwave popcorn bags contain Perfluoroalkyls like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). These chemicals line the bag itself to prevent the grease from leaking out of the bag. Once the popcorn in microwaved they can be found in the popcorn itself. This chemical has been linked to infertility, immune system problems, increased cholesterol levels, thyroid disease, and even cancer.
Another horrible chemical found in microwavable popcorn is diacetyl. This is what gives it the “buttery” flavor. This chemical has caused a disease in many called bronchiolitis obliterans or “popcorn lung” and is extremely common in popcorn factory workers. When the fumes are inhaled they scar the inside of your lungs and causes major difficulty breathing and has lead to fatal outcomes. The oil in the popcorn bags is usually loaded with trans fat as well since the trans fat is used as a preservative, we all know how unhealthy trans fat is.
If you have a popcorn maker and or make your own and you use the commercial popcorn oils, be aware that those have artificial flavoring in them which are harmful for your health, they too contain trans fat and in some cases they may say “no trans fat” yet still contain trans fat since again it is a preservative. Aside from all of the chemicals we all know that margarine is fake made of chemicals to give it a “buttery flavor”. This is also another reason to avoid the bagged popcorn and any popcorn containing those commercial oils. I can almost guarantee that they have other fake flavorings.
Before you panic about never being able to enjoy popcorn again, fear not… you can make your own, it’s healthy, cheap, and takes a few minutes!
Methods of Making your own popcorn at home or even at work…
First things first is that you should purchase Organic Non GMO popcorn kernels. They can be found online and I have seen them in some grocery stores. One of the paces I purchase organic popcorn kernels is at sprouts.
This is an easy method if you have a air popping machine. You can avoid using oil and salt with this method
Popcorn Machine and Stovetop
Since I have one this is what I use and I just add 1-2 T coconut oil, and 2/3 cup organic popcorn kernels then some Himalayan salt
This is the easiest and cheapest method and can be done at home, at work, or anywhere you have a microwave. All you need is a paper bag.
-Paper Bag (you can use one and fold the edges) I prefer to use 2 since I add oil to mine and you can make more popcorn this way
-1/2 Cup Organic Popcorn Kernels
1-2 T coconut oil
1. Place Kernels in a paper bag
2. Add oil and salt if you choose. Fold the edges over or cover with another bag
3. Pop for about 2-3 minutes. (this will vary depending on your microwave)
There are also some store versions of microwave bags that can be way better options and not contain the harmful chemicals, and I have also seen and purchases pre popped organic popcorn which is in fact delicious! Costco, Sprouts, and Fresh and Easy have great brands.
If you want more information on microwave popcorn be sure to check out the links below