Popcorn is a necessity for movie evenings, and in my household, that may mean anything from a bag of Pirate’s Booty to a huge bowl of freshly popped popcorn cooked over the stove. One kind of popcorn, however, meant for the microwave will never leave my front door.
Yes, those plastic-sealed packages guarantee buttery ecstasy within a short period. However, although microwaveable popcorn may provide us with all the salty bliss we could ever want, it also contains a significant amount of unsaturated fat, sodium, and chemicals we may not have been expecting.
Here’s why you should think twice before popping a bag in the microwave:
Chemicals are used to line that bag. Ever ponder how the bag’s excessive butter content stays closed without leaking out? PFAs are a group of artificial compounds frequently used in food packaging. For example, popcorn manufacturers use PFAs to coat the interior of their popcorn bags to stop fake butter flavor from seeping out and causing a mess. But when you eat popcorn, those same chemicals also seep into your bloodstream. These substances can easily accumulate in your blood over time because they take so long to decompose. Wow, that’s scary.
There is a condition known as popcorn lung. Speaking of chemicals, the delicious butter flavor and color that we all adore are entirely artificial. Diacetyl, basically been listed as a poison and can cause bronchiolitis obliterans, is frequently present in this complicated chemical mixture. The lung’s tiniest airways become inflamed in bronchiolitis obliterans, sometimes known as popcorn lung, which causes persistent coughing and shortness of breath. Therefore, the “buttery goodness” that permeates the air is quite hazardous.
Additionally, it is loaded with saturated fat. You can’t avoid the reality that most microwave popcorn is laden with saturated fats like palm oil, even if you disregard the packaging’s dangerous chemicals and the artificial flavors in the popcorn. One serving of certain well-known brands has up to 4 grams of saturated fat. That amounts to 20% of the daily recommended consumption. Furthermore, in case you were wondering, one serving size only amounts to around a third of a bag. Who finishes a third of a bag of popcorn before stopping?
The salt content is high. Microwave popcorn is not an exception because fatty meals require significant salt to counterbalance them. Although salt content varies by brand, many have 250–300 mg of sodium per serving, up to 15% of your daily value.
You may easily pop it yourself! That’s right, by just making your popcorn on the stovetop, you can skip all the extra chemicals and regulate how much saturated fat and sodium you take. Furthermore, it’s simple to carry out. You only need a skillet with a lid, unpopped popcorn kernels, and vegetable oil. It takes about as long to open a microwave popcorn packet and put it in the microwave as it does to prepare the food. Additionally, if you pop it yourself, you can instantly access various tastes, seasoning combinations, and add-ins. Seasoning for everything bagels? Mexican spice? Caramel? You can do anything when you make your popcorn.
Learn more: Gochujang Noodles Recipe