No more food heroes

In these troubled times, when up is down and left is right and night is day and black is white, you gotta look for the constants. The age-old truths that, time and time again, provide a rock of stability in the sea of madness that is our modern world.

Like popcorn.

Remember popcorn? Oh, sure, you’re serious foodies, you’ve moved on to greater snacks, but remember for a moment: the excited child getting overbuttered popcorn at the movie theater. Jiffy-Pop bulging in the pan at grandmother’s house. The building-filling smell of artificial butter as golden microwaved fluff poured into a bowl.

Popcorn will always remain a happy constant in our lives, there when we need it. Safe, nostalgic, harmless buttery goodness.

Or not.

Apparently, the chemical additive diacetyl–used as a component for butter flavoring in popcorn and other products–can cause serious cases of bronchitis obliterans, a nasty disease that scars your airways and, eventually, necessitates lung transplants. Several workers have already contracted the disease, and 9 out of 10 lab rats died within a day of exposure. The rats were given double to triple the amount a worker encounters in the average workday, but an amount similar to what a worker would be exposed to while peeking into the butter vats.

Now, the workers get exposed to far more of this stuff than any of us ever will, but we still gotta watch out for the diacetyl that cooks into the popcorn as the bag heats up. If enough accumulates, who knows what could happen?

Ah well, at least I still have ice cream.

-Jim out, hoping someone submits non-microwave popcorn recipes to the site

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