Dangers of Microwave Popcorn

When it’s movie night and you’re getting ready to break out the popcorn, using an air popper or jostling a pot of kernels in a heart-friendly oil on your stove top might be your best choices.

A report from the FDA indicates that a chemical coating used in microwave popcorn bags breaks down when heated into a substance called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA). The Environmental Protection Agency has identified PFOA as a “likely carcinogen.” Another study has found an acid that can be extracted from the chemical causes cancer in animals and is “likely to cause cancer in humans.”

A second potential danger in microwave popcorn is diacetyl, an FDA-approved chemical found in the fake butter flavoring. There’s even a debilitating respiratory disease called “popcorn workers lung,” (the medical name of the condition is bronchiolitis obliterans) suffered by microwave popcorn factory workers caused by extended inhalation of the chemical’s fumes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, (NIOSH) concluded that diacetyl needs further study so that workers in the flavorings and snack industry are no longer at risk

The Food and Drug Administration continues to study whether consumers can develop lung disease from inhaling diacetyl. In response to the concerns regarding the risks of diacetyl exposure, a number of microwave popcorn manufacturers have discontinued using it in their products.

Pop Your Own
Here’s the way to make popcorn on your stove top: Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or grapeseed oil if you prefer a more neutral taste) into a heavy, 3 quart or larger pan and place on medium high heat. Put two kernels in, and when one has popped, pour in 1/3 cup of pop corn (white or yellow) and cover pan. When corn begins to pop, shake constantly allowing steam to escape from popping kernels–otherwise popcorn will lose its crunch. Remove pan from heat immediately when popping stops or it will burn. Pour into a large bowl and season to taste.

Related Links:
6 Healthier Alternatives to Movie Popcorn
Bad News About Movie Popcorn

By Terri Hall Jackson, Care2 contributing writer

357 comments

New G.
New G.1 months ago

Thank you.

Arjun Akira
Arjun Akira10 months ago

Consuming the artificial Foods Will never give you the Positive Reflections , Better avoid the Fast foods to maintain the Good Health .

Regards

NEBOSH Course in Chennai

Arjun Akira
Arjun Akira10 months ago

Consuming the artificial Foods Will never give you the Positive Reflections , Better avoid the Fast foods to maintain the Good Health .

Regards

NEBOSH Course in Chennai

Susan Castriota
Susan Castriotaabout a year ago

As a breast cancer survivor, I do not use toxic plastics in the microwave anymore, that includes the popcorn in a bag and boil in bag veggies. I have developed a glass vented lid to replace plastic lids - the Cuchina Safe Lid also allows me to enjoy my favorite snack, POPCORN. Healthy and fat free. See my video or visit www.cuchinasafe.com.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2AlE53BPxw#t=11

 .
.about a year ago

I was actually searching for the vital things, and I had desire those things in the details so finally I have got it here. Occupational Health

Andrea J.
Past Member 1 years ago

Yeah, like Melissa said, just put a handful into a brown paper bag and microwave it. I usually put in 1/4 of a cup of kernels and nuke it for about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes.

Melissa F.
mel schoolfield1 years ago

We eat microwave popcorn all the time. We just make our own. Just a hand full or so in a paper bag and pop. Time depends on your microwave.

Erin H.
Erin H.1 years ago

Interesting article, thank you!

Mary F.
Mary F.1 years ago

I enjoyed this article and shared it on my Facebook page! I always tell my customers during cooking parties that it is much better to make your own popcorn and it's so easy. This article substantiates the health benefits of making popcorn at home. I use my Demarle at Home Round Mold and Octagonal Silpat in the microwave, the popcorn turns out even better than the bagged!

Mary F.
Mary F.1 years ago

I enjoyed this article and shared it on my Facebook page! I always tell my customers during cooking parties that it is much better to make your own popcorn and it's so easy. This article substantiates the health benefits of making popcorn at home. I use my Demarle at Home Round Mold and Octagonal Silpat in the microwave, the popcorn turns out even better than the bagged!