Clearing the air

I’m sure you’ve heard the recent news about the chemical in butter flavoring (used mostly in popcorn) causing a life-threatening lung disease. Well, I’m not here to report it again but rather to clear up a misconception many people, including myself originally, may be under.

The chemical used in butter flavoring, diacetyl, is harmful when in vapor form. Workers that have developed “popcorn worker’s lung” or consumers who have contracted the disease through microwaving popcorn have it only because they breathed in the fumes.

So, in all the reading I’ve done on the topic, I haven’t seen anywhere that eating butter-flavored popcorn is harmful. You just need to stay away from the microwave when it cooks and let it sit for awhile! Or, buy already-made popcorn and you should be fine. But be careful while using butter sprays too because it’s the same idea…fumes.

Despite this, I’m sure butter-flavored popcorn sales will still decline. Oh well, I tried (even though I hate butter…)

If you want to read more, here’s my article.

-Hillary, hoping to get a picture with Morimoto!
Editor, Recipe4Living

  • Jessica

    Hi, Just wanted to let you know that the associated press published an article yesterday, they reported a two-bag-a-day microwave popcorn eater developed Popcorn Lung. Here is the link to the article.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Popcorn-Safety.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  • http://sloshed.hyperkinetic.org/ Marleigh

    Ooooh. I love hard cider. I’ll have to try and track some of that down in LA!

  • http://www.steamykitchen.com/blog Steamy Kitchen

    whew. so i don’t have to give up my popcorn addiction…

  • http://www.shantanughosh.com Traveller

    Phew! That’s a relief to know. Is there anything safe now-a-days at all?

    BTW, great blog! My first time here, but expect to return periodically.

  • http://clumsycook.com robin

    Is it really called “popcorn worker’s lung”? And I am I bad person if I find that term funny?!

    Great article by the way.

  • http://www.recipe4living.com Hillary

    Jessica – Thanks!

    Steamy Kitchen – Haha, nope! Not until they come out with a different report saying popcorn is bad for you…

    Traveller – Glad you like the blog!

    Robin – Thanks! And yes, it is really called that….Haha

  • http://recipe4living Peggy c.

    I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY DID THEY PUT A CHEMICAL IN THE BUTTER KNOWING AHEAD OF TIME IT WOULD CAUSE LUNG PROBLEMS I GUESS COMPANYS JUST DONT CARE ABOUT PEOPLES LIFES ANYMORE THERE JUST CONCERN ABOUT THE OLD MIGHTY DOLLAR.

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