5 What's in your popcorn?

A few months ago I was in my boss' office and she showed me a picture of someone popping popcorn in the microwave in a simple brown bag. I was skeptical that this could be done because why then do we even have microwave popcorn bags???  I googled to see if there was video evidence of this magic trick and there were several and they all seemed to work some even without having to use butter. Here are the step by step instructions I followed.

On Saturday I tried it out for the first time. I used a brown lunch paper bag and 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels (buy them from the bulk bins to save money). I sprayed a bit of non stick spray into the bag just in case, folded the top of the bag down 2 times and placed it standing up in the microwave for 3 minutes. The result was a full bag of popcorn without of any of the nasty crap that you get from the store bought microwavable popcorn. I would say that we even got a higher ratio of popped to unpopped kernels than when we have used microwavable popcorn in the past.

What exactly is in microwavable popcorn bags anyways?  
* PFOA - Perfluorooctanoic acid. This is the same shit in Teflon and Gortex. The EPA has declared it to be a toxin and carcinogen. It can impact your liver, thyroid and have affects on the development of babies. 
*Diacetyl - this is in the butter flavouring that the popcorn kernels are coated in. Inhalation of diacetyl has been linked to lung disease.  The good news is that some popcorn manufacturers are starting to phase out the use of diacetyl.

Did you know that manufacturers and experts suggest that you don't touch the bag until it is cool and that when you open it you do so under a vent so that you are not exposed the whatever toxins have been heated up.

I think that these are 2 very good reasons to stop buying microwavable popcorn bags and start DIY'ing it yourself! Plus then you also have control over what you put on your popcorn. I like a little bit of salt and Joe like butter and popcorn seasoning. This offers us the perfect solution where we can pop our popcorn chemical free and then season to our own taste after. 

Have you made the switch to making your own popcorn? Will you give it a try?

Photo from Squawkfox.com

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  1. My friend who taught me how to make stovetop popcorn had some trouble with the brown bag / microwave method -- I think she said it scorched in areas and didn't pop all the kernels. I haven't tried because I fell in love with the taste and texture of stove top popcorn and haven't looked back! It's crunchier and toastier, a bit higher in fat due to the oil, but much tastier. I just put enough kernels to cover the bottom of a pan, add just enough vegetable oil to coat, cover, and put over medium heat until the popping stops. Couldn't be easier.

  2. See and I manage to always burn it when I try to pop it on the stove!

  3. I make my own popcorn in my old school popcorn machine. I think it is from like the 80's or something. Love it! :)

  4. I am a stove top gal, my youngest had an allergic reaction to the microwave kind, and there is so much crap in it anyway. I heat the pan, add the kernels, let them warm a bit, then I spritz them with a kitchen spritzer and they come out perfect.