Is Microwaved Popcorn Healthy?
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
is artificially-flavored microwaveble popcorn safe?
Update, 2018: Finally, there are companies that are taking the dangers of microwaved popcorn seriously and offering safer alternatives, My favorite is Quinn organic popcorn because first of all, it’s organic! Also, Quinn popcorn comes in a paper bag, not the type of chemically coated bag of most cheaper popcorns. The release of chemicals into the popcorn is not a health benefit, as you will read later. I also like that Quinn popcorn is just popcorn. The fixings, the oil and seasoning, is separate in separate packages.
There have been times in my life when I put some food in my mouth and my body let me know it did not like it. Unfortunately, that did not happen with chocolate but it most certainly did happen when I first tasted artificially flavored, microwaved popcorn.
I used to microwave popcorn on occasion and should have known from my body’s response to it, that something in it was unhealthy. As soon as I got the first bite in my mouth, my natural alarm system started telling me that this was not good for me, by causing an unsual taste in my mouth that was on the verge of being nauseating.
I’d like to say I listened to that response and never ate another bite but there were also flavors there, and textures, that my body did want. I love salty foods so there was that to keep me chewing. Also, I was watching a movie so I was partially running on programming…..watch a movie, eat popcorn. However, I seldom ate too much of it and I always felt bad afterwards. No wonder.
I recently read that The Environmental protection Agency is studying a situation where workers in popcorn factories are developing a rare lung disease. It is apparently associated with breathing the fumes of the popcorn flavoring, which includes an ingredient called diacetyl.
I don’t own a microwave now and don’t eat microwaved food anymore and I could write a whole article on that subject alone…but this is more about what is put in the microwave than the danger of microwaving food….this is a specific health alert about the flavoring commonly used in microwaveable popcorn.
It appears to be heated diacetyl that is of concern among home users. There is no study to indicate the longterm effects of breathing these fumes containing the heated diacetyl when the microwaved popcorn package is opened.
In any case, I’m glad the EPA is involved. Do some research on this issue before you decide to nuke that next artificially-flavored popcorn bag. This will get you started: OSHA report on heated diacetyl