I’ve always thought of popcorn as a healthy snack: it’s low in fat, calories and sodium (assuming you don’t buy the movie theater butter variety and add your own salt). So I was shocked—and a bit upset—when I found out the inside of conventional microwave popcorn bags are lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a synthetic chemical commonly used to line non-stick cookware. (I know—it’s not exactly new news. But I’ve been eating tainted popcorn for years and never knew until now!)
If you’re familiar with PFOA from cookware, you already know that this chemical is a likely carcinogen and that it doesn’t degrade in the environment. This manmade chemical is also used in fast food containers and even fabrics and has been found in the blood of 95 percent of Americans.
Avoid conventional microwave popcorn bags, which are lined with perfluorooctanoic acid, and make your own popcorn with an air-popper or homemade bags. Photo By wuperruper/Courtesy Flickr.
In 2006, eight companies, including the makers of Teflon non-stick cookware, agreed to voluntarily phase PFOA out of their products by 2015 and reduce PFOA manufacturing emissions by 95 percent by 2010. Until that time comes, do yourself a favor and avoid conventional microwave popcorn.
If you’re a fan of popcorn, uses traditional methods to make your snack. PlanetGreen recommends making your own popcorn bags at home by rubbing the insides of a brown paper bag with butter, filling it with popcorn kernels, folding the bag over and putting it in the microwave.
For an even healthier snack, avoid the butter and microwave altogether. Air-pop the popcorn, then drizzle with olive oils and your favorite spices and seasoning.