Tags:


Ding
September 5, 2007 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Go easy on the popcorn
posted by johnny7 (79 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The caring folks at magical ConAgra have decided to discontinue the use of the offending chemical.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:18 PM on September 5, 2007


Yuck. I can't imagine eating that much microwave popcorn.
posted by delmoi at 4:23 PM on September 5, 2007


mmmm! Diacetyl! Yummy, buttery flavor! Diacetyl! Smell that buttery diacetyl! mmmmm!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 PM on September 5, 2007


I'm safe, we just bought an air popper. It rules.
posted by quin at 4:26 PM on September 5, 2007


air poppers are awesome. That is all.
posted by boo_radley at 4:29 PM on September 5, 2007


I prefer mine cooked in olive oil, on the stove. Then I usually add garlic salt, basil and fine-grated parmesian or asiago.

Actually, I made some tuffle-oil and baconsalt popcorn the other night. It was exquisite.
posted by signalnine at 4:30 PM on September 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Meh! Real Mefites know how to prepare popcorn the right way!
posted by humannaire at 4:30 PM on September 5, 2007


Good idea, there, signalnine.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:30 PM on September 5, 2007


Yeah, I'm another old-school popper with oil on the stove. Pop that shit right.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:31 PM on September 5, 2007


I had a boss who would eat nothing all day, then come screaming and swearing into the office around 3pm and shove three or four bags of microwave popcorn and a half dozen peaches down his throat in the space of about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, I don't remember him inhaling the fumes.
posted by jamesonandwater at 4:33 PM on September 5, 2007


signalnine writes "I prefer mine cooked in olive oil, on the stove. Then I usually add garlic salt, basil and fine-grated parmesian or asiago. "

That sounds great, but it also sounds a heck of a lot like what you might do to pasta.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:34 PM on September 5, 2007


Dear Microwave Popcorn Eaters:
Eat up! Have another bag of popcorn! Please! Even though it makes the entire office / apartment / house smell like monh-old diapers! If you eat enough of the damnable stuff you may die a horrible death, and then I'll never have to smell your disgusting habit ever again!
Love,
lekvar

P.S. Please die a horrible death.
posted by lekvar at 4:35 PM on September 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


baconsalt?
posted by boo_radley at 4:35 PM on September 5, 2007


ate two to three bags of popcorn a day for a decade

There you go, folks. Just cut down to a bag every other day, and in a decade's time, you'll be fine!
posted by zardoz at 4:36 PM on September 5, 2007


And thus continues the perfect record of stories that end badly which contain the phrase "ate two or three bags a day."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:38 PM on September 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Just a little reminder"
posted by anthill at 4:39 PM on September 5, 2007


I prefer mine cooked in olive oil, on the stove. Then I usually add garlic salt, basil and fine-grated parmesian or asiago.

Actually, I made some tuffle-oil and baconsalt popcorn the other night. It was exquisite.


So much for "less is more".
posted by wfc123 at 4:40 PM on September 5, 2007


The funniest part is how you pay basically infinity times as much for the diacetyl version than for the same amount of real popcorn. I never bothered calculating how much my air popped corn cost before someone terminally overheated the machine, it was so cheap. I need to find another machine.

The free market works!
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:43 PM on September 5, 2007


I just knew that artificial butter flavor had to be evil--it can stink up a entire office and lingers in a microwave for days. But jeez, don't blame the popcorn, just make it right. My way: cooked on the stove in pure peanut oil with about a half teaspoon of dark roasted sesame oil added. Sometimes I go crazy and add grated parmesan cheese on top. I know what I'm having for dinner.
posted by tula at 4:44 PM on September 5, 2007


I hate microwave popcorn for an entirely different reason: no one in my office has a clue how to cook it, which means that at least once a week, they burn the hell out of it, and make the entire floor reek of hot death for a couple of hours.

I've actually had co-workers get sick from the stench of the stuff.

I mean it's not difficult, the instructions are written on the side of the bad, and the microwave has a fucking setting for it.

You put it in, you press the button, and you have popcorn.

HOW FUCKING HARD IS THIS CONCEPT?!?

::deep breath... deep breath::
posted by quin at 4:44 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


smell like monh-old diapers

I have smelled month-old diapers and believe me, popcorn smells a lot better. Though it does depend on what you feed your baby - baby poop can smell oddly good sometimes. You get a mixture of a warm, fresh-baked smell with overtones of shit. I tried not to spend too long trying to decode the odour.
posted by GuyZero at 4:48 PM on September 5, 2007


Great. Now what the hell are we going to eat in the gray?
posted by The Bellman at 4:48 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


baconsalt. for reals?
posted by footnote at 4:49 PM on September 5, 2007


It's got to be the worst food in the world, because it's so hard to replicate when you don't have a microwave handy. Try cooking it over an open fire...
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:49 PM on September 5, 2007


Popcorn lung has been a serious problem for workers for some time now. I've been reading about it since 2004. OSHA and EPA have reacted with the normal tail-dragging that has been characteristic of many federal watchdog agencies for the last 7 years. They knew of this problem. Workers were the canaries in the coal mines.

Vincent Castranova, chief of NIOSH's pathology and physiology research branch, said that the effect of breathing butter flavoring vapors could be likened to inhaling acid.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:51 PM on September 5, 2007


Great. Now what the hell are we going to eat in the gray?

Pancakes. Duh.
posted by loquacious at 4:52 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just use peanut oil and salt.

You want a big pot, enough oil at the bottom to cover a layer of unpopped kernels, and (ideally) herloom popcorn. Shake *CONSTANTLY*.

After its popped pour into a brown paper bag, add salt to taste, and shake to distribute the salt evely. The bag will also absorb excess oil.

I find that it has a better texture five minutes or so after I finish popping it than it does right after it comes out of the pot. Dunno why.

Herloom popcorn usually tastes vastly better than the stuff Orville Redebocker will sell you, his stuff has been bred for kernel size, long shelf life, etc, not taste. I usually get smaller popped corn from the herloom stuff, but it makes up for it with superior taste.

As for cheese, herbs, etc, I don't bother, but each to their own.
posted by sotonohito at 4:53 PM on September 5, 2007


Yeah, sometimes I'm feeling basic, just salt and olive oil, but baconsalt popcorn is darned tasty.
posted by signalnine at 4:57 PM on September 5, 2007


Diacetyl is also a flavor component of some ales, but usually only in very small amounts (detectable at as low as fifty parts per billion). It doesn't take much to go from detectable to defect so it probably doesn't represent a hazard in beer.
posted by tommasz at 4:57 PM on September 5, 2007


Air popping is The Way.

Not old diapers, but the smell of Mw popcorn is rank. It stinks in the store, and it stinks worse in the microwave - which then stinks until somebody cleans it. Oddly enough, that somebody is almost never the somebody who popped the the corn.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:00 PM on September 5, 2007


Pancakes. Duh.
Pancakes for the gray, and beans for the green.

Separately: tommasz, if you're breathing beer, you're doing it wrong.
posted by zamboni at 5:03 PM on September 5, 2007


Totally with you, Lekvar. When I do not want to eat popcorn myself, the smell of Other People's Popcorn drives me mad (not to mention the sound of cubicle neighbors eating it.)
posted by emelenjr at 5:04 PM on September 5, 2007


I stand by my statement. My girlfriend and I were at a friends house with our (at the time) two-year-old daughter. Suddenly, there was a smell and we both reached for the daiper bag. Then our friend walked into the room with a big stinky sack of microwave popcorn. I hated it before, and I've loathed it with a white-hot passion ever since.
posted by lekvar at 5:06 PM on September 5, 2007


Bacon Salt.
posted by porpoise at 5:07 PM on September 5, 2007


You know, you can cook regular popcorn in the microwave without paying for "microwave popcorn". Get some popcorn, oil, and flavorings. Mix them together in a paper bag, fold over the edge and staple it, and nuke it until it stops popping. Much, much cheaper than paying for the pre-bagged kind, and best of all... no popcorn lung!
posted by vorfeed at 5:13 PM on September 5, 2007


So, air popping smarties, share your secrets -- what other food that I innocently eat also can give you some crazy disease? Probably those Indian dinners in foil packets they sell at Trader Joes, right?
posted by salvia at 5:17 PM on September 5, 2007


"baconsalt?"

Tried it with the Original flavor (and my awesome air popper). It was different and tasty but honestly not as tasty as plain old butter and popcorn salt. I'll try the Hickory flavor next, but as a somewhat sweet flavor I doubt it'll be quite what I like.

Bacon Salt is awesome, but the original flavor is a little tomatoey to be totally convincing and the hickory is kind of bland on many foods.
posted by majick at 5:22 PM on September 5, 2007


Man, I love Indian food that comes in foil packets! Let's talk about that for a while. I love eating Indian food that's made in India, probably by real Indians. Right now, with every "Kitchens of India" brand purchase, you get a free CD of classical Indian music that's sure to annoy your neighbors and my girlfriend.
posted by item at 5:24 PM on September 5, 2007


And yeah, microwaved popcorn is a fucking evil and foul substance. The smell alone is why I'm glad I don't have an office job any more.
posted by item at 5:25 PM on September 5, 2007


what other food that I innocently eat also can give you some crazy disease?

Do you eat paint? Because that's one I'd suggest quitting right away. Also, the shiny silver stuff in old thermometers, that's probably not so good either.

Oh yeah, if you have any kind of fire-resistant insulation, maybe from the '60s and '70s laying around, I'd avoid that all together.

And eggs. Those will totally kill you.

Where 'kill you' means 'fill your belly with deliciousness'.
posted by quin at 5:28 PM on September 5, 2007


I use a Whirly Pop.
posted by Eekacat at 5:33 PM on September 5, 2007


I heard somewhere that there's some problem with Kool-Ade.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:34 PM on September 5, 2007


When eggs kill...
(I especially like the second link for its unnecessary alarmism. Whereas the first has actual stats but downplays them.)
posted by salvia at 5:38 PM on September 5, 2007


Air popping always made the popcorn come out tasteless, IMO. And I never could drizzle on butter and get anything like even distribution, some of the kernels were butter drenched blobs, others were bone dry.

For you air poppers out there, what's the secret?
posted by sotonohito at 5:41 PM on September 5, 2007


lekvar: I'm with you. Both my babies were exclusively breast-fed for their first six months, and their pooptastic diapers smelled exactly like microwaved popcorn (with buttery topping, natch).
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:09 PM on September 5, 2007


Great. Now I'm jonesing for popcorn. Thanks, Blue.
posted by SPrintF at 6:11 PM on September 5, 2007


Okay, so for all you now wondering about those Trader Joe's indian food pouches, it looks like they're made of polypropylene (#5 plastic), which is generally considered safe (1, 2). But you should avoid plastics #3 (plastic wrap), #6 (styrofoam), and #7 (sport bottles and sippy cups), as well as any inclination to research food packaging safety because it will make you paranoid while boring you to death.
posted by salvia at 6:13 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


You guys think you pay a lot for microwave popcorn? For many years now, I have refused to eat anything but genuinie movie-theatre popcorn. I developed an elaborate routine for going to the movies, ordering a large with butter, cheesing it up with the flavouring powder, taking it out to my car and dumping it into a shopping bag, and coming back in to refill it (larges get one free refill). Then I would take the whole load of buttery, greasy popcorn home and really savour it while I watch DVDs.

Earlier this year, Famous Players was bought by Cineplex and they got rid of the flavour shakers. They went to flavour packets, sold for forty cents apiece, which I was fine with. I was buying them all the time. Now they've discontinued my flavour, white cheddar, altogether, and finally I'm free of this compulsion to only eat movie theatre popcorn when I watch movies on DVD. Man that was an expensive compulsion!
posted by autodidact at 6:16 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


No worries for me. Due to a run in with diverticulosis (due either to the popcorn or actually sitting through Land of the Dead - and I like Romero), ending in 3.5 vacation days in hospital, I live a popcord-free existance.

Although, rarely, when at the drive-in, I have been known to suck the butter and salt off a few kernels then spit them out...
posted by Samizdata at 6:36 PM on September 5, 2007


what other food that I innocently eat also can give you some crazy disease?

An large and ever-increasing amount of other chemical-laced foods, I'd imagine. And as the years roll on, it won't surprise me one whit when genetically modified foods (whose long-term health ramifications are as yet unknown) are found to cause any number of as-yet-unforeseen problems. So the key word in your question, I'd say, is "innocently". Don't eat innocently, if you're interested in the health ramifications of what you eat, then try to eat informedly.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:40 PM on September 5, 2007


For you air poppers out there, what's the secret?

I'll nth air poppers, but I wonder the same thing. I remember as a kid using an air popper--the thing was as loud as a hairdryer, hope the current ones are better. It had a plastic hood and a groove in the top where you could put butter. As it heated up, the butter would melt and drip on the corn coming out as well as on the short sliding chute as it slid out of the machine. Nice little addition, but didn't really work, the butter spread was pretty uneven.

Air popped corn is pretty bland if you're used to the buttery stuff, but I guess the best way to season it is melt your butter separately and put everything in a bag and shake. Adds an extra step, but is still way easier than cooking popcorn on a stovetop, which is a terrible method IMHO. Too much burnage.
posted by zardoz at 7:11 PM on September 5, 2007


I <3 my whirlypop.

I had been using a hot-air, but I think I might be using less oil now than I was using butter after the hot-air popper.

And adding finely-ground popcorn salt to the oil before cooking is teh gud.

I don't know where to get fancy-ass popcorns. Can you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:21 PM on September 5, 2007


My wife got me a microwave bowl for my popcorn addiction. It takes regular popcorn, and it's just plastic. Really simple. I love it. I'd dig an air popper, but this was dirt cheap.
posted by monkeymadness at 7:31 PM on September 5, 2007


Another vote for air popping.
posted by pmurray63 at 7:59 PM on September 5, 2007


Ok, now that we've established that microwave popcorn is worse for your lungs than pot, can we finally legalize it?

Of course, legalizing pot would lead to increased consumption of complementary goods, like...oh god!
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:06 PM on September 5, 2007


Legend has it that the ultra ultra elite lawfirm Wachtell banned microwave popcorn from the premises.
posted by footnote at 8:11 PM on September 5, 2007


The proper way to pop corn is over the course of many weeks, buried at the bottom of a compost pile. See, the bacteria metabolize the compost, generating heat and gases that get trapped in underneath the weight of the above layers of compost. Be careful not to cause a fire, though.
posted by Eideteker at 8:12 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have an air popper and use it when I want a light snack, but the flavor is tasteless. And I don't like buttered popcorn so there's no real way to add flavor.

Stove popped popcorn using small kernels, canola or peanut oil, and salt. That's the ticket.
posted by aerotive at 8:17 PM on September 5, 2007


wow, i wish i hadn't gone a bit crazy when i discovered microwave popcorn, shortly after moving out of home.. i lived on the stuff. *cough cough cough*
posted by sleep_walker at 9:27 PM on September 5, 2007


If you had to tell someone you had a disease, would you prefer popcorn lung or clown's disease?
posted by dirigibleman at 9:31 PM on September 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


NO need to make your own popcorn. Just hang our at MetaTalk; sooner or later a snarkfest will start and someone will bring popcorn.
posted by Cranberry at 10:04 PM on September 5, 2007


Well, I'm glad I hate popcorn.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:08 PM on September 5, 2007


Jiffy pop Satori (self link)
posted by hortense at 10:24 PM on September 5, 2007


zardoz wrote "cooking popcorn on a stovetop, which is a terrible method IMHO. Too much burnage."

If you're getting burnt popcorn when you pop on the stove, you need to adjust your technique. I get zero burnage.

The first mistake people make is thinking that you can do a small batch on the stovetop. You can't, it just plain ain't possible, and it *WILL* burn no matter what you do. Big pots only.

The second mistake is to think you can stop shaking the pot. Constant aggitation is the only way to go.

The third mistake is to leave the corn in the pot after its finished popping. Have a brown paper bag open and waiting before you start popping and the instant the popping is finished dump the corn out of the pot and into the bag, otherwise carryover heat will burn.
posted by sotonohito at 3:38 AM on September 6, 2007


Fumes from microwave popcorn have always bothered my lungs. I'm not at all surprised to find it's toxic, as I told people since the 90's or before.

I find hotair poppers utterly worthless, unless you want biodegradable packing pellets, then okay. Popcorn should be cooked in oil. Peanut is great, as is sunflower. Some oils shouldn't be heated that high though (olive oil, orly?)

I adore butter. But I rarely put it on popcorn. I discovered by accident that Lawrey's Seasoned Salt is fabulous on popcorn. Try it!
posted by Goofyy at 5:22 AM on September 6, 2007


You can't but help admire how businesses find new ways to kill their employees and customers.
posted by zzazazz at 7:01 AM on September 6, 2007


Once again, a MeFi thread (plus some Googling) has led me down another path to nirvana.
posted by spock at 7:12 AM on September 6, 2007


Well I'll be darned if it isn't carried locally at Walmart and Blockbusters. (storefinder)

**grabs keys and runs**
posted by spock at 7:17 AM on September 6, 2007


For you air poppers out there, what's the secret?

Set the popper up so it dispenses into a paper bag, and drizzle a little soy sauce in as it pops (done right the blower will dry it out by eatin' time) sprinkle in some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, maybe a shake or two of cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:37 AM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Post Poll - Popcorn
Are you concerned about eating microwave popcorn, after a Colorado doctor notified federal authorities that a patient who consumed a lot of it developed lung disease? (Read the story.)

Total Votes = 559

Yes
14.84 %
Somewhat
8.586 %
No
59.03 %
Don't know
2.683 %
Never eat it
14.84 %

Does this freak anyone else out? 60% of people don't care that something they're eating is poisonous, and they're eating it at below-threshhold levels? My friend's mother died from breast cancer caused by working with experimental (and apparently carcinogenic) food dyes and flavorings. Do people just not care until it's right on top of them?
posted by tehloki at 9:15 AM on September 6, 2007


Does this freak anyone else out?

Well, to be fair, the guy was eating two bags (or more) a day, and was inhaling the steam when he opened the bag, and therefore getting a big ol' dose of the vaporized diacetyl. If the people surveyed aren't doing that, why would they worry about it any more than they (probably) worry about things like car accidents, or terrorism, or exploding manhole covers?
posted by rtha at 10:11 AM on September 6, 2007


Damn it! Why did you have to go and mention exploding manhole covers? Now I'm just going to have to stay upstairs all week.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:12 AM on September 6, 2007


hey loki

you should be more scared of cars and fatty food than carcinogens.

are you scared of science?
posted by beefetish at 10:50 AM on September 6, 2007


Why did you have to go and mention exploding manhole covers? Now I'm just going to have to stay upstairs all week.

Surely you'd want to stay downstairs, cackling madly at your own wisdom as the people upstairs are crushed by falling manhole covers.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:52 AM on September 6, 2007


I'm scared of pretty much everything.
posted by tehloki at 11:55 AM on September 6, 2007


Exploding manhole covers are just the next step.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:59 AM on September 6, 2007


So I guess this guy is looking to be the Captain Beany of microwave popcorn?
posted by obvious at 2:55 PM on September 6, 2007


On popcorn: curry powder, or nutritional yeast.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:04 PM on September 6, 2007


FWIW, I have an oil popper. Kind of a round electric frypan with a stirrer and a big bowl as a cover.

Other than the non-stick coating peeling off and probably giving me brain worms for my old age, it's the dog's bollocks. A teaspoon of oil and four minutes later, well-popped corn.

Of course it's very likely that all popcorn is genetically modified and will probably cause some strange mutation in me long before the brain worms win out.

Corn is such nasty shit, too. I hate myself for eating it.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:46 PM on September 6, 2007


« Older The Tenori-On is a new electronic musical instrume...  |  ASCII goggles.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments