Microwave Popcorn Toxicity Study: Modern preparation of favorite snack poses possible health hazards
Aug 01, 2010 03:00AM
Popcorn is one of the add-ons that rarely fails to make watching a movie more fun, but the modern way of preparing this popular snack may harbor an unhappy secret. Research by the U.S. government now reports that microwave popcorn may contain chemicals that can cause health problems.
At issue is that commercial popcorn companies often coat their microwave popcorn bags with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which has been found to cause both cancer and lung disease in laboratory animals. Making matters worse, the butter substitute that generally accompanies microwavable popcorn contains a chemical called diacetyl, a common food-flavoring agent that, according to health scientists, is responsible for bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious, debilitating lung disease.
For an easy and fun healthy alternative, nutritionists suggest that we pop our own popcorn. All that’s needed is a large, high pot, about four tablespoons of peanut or canola oil and a small handful of organic popcorn kernels. When the kernels start popping, shake the pot to let the steam escape and to let the unpopped kernels fall to the bottom. As soon as the popping slows down, remove the pot from the stove, pour the popcorn into a bowl, season with a small amount of real butter or olive oil and natural salt or brewer’s yeast to taste, et voilà, happy eating.