Popcorn is a tasty snack for any occasion, but it doesn’t come without hidden dangers. I used to buy whatever brand microwave popcorn was on sale at the store, not knowing about the risks or health hazards associated with it. Now I know better and make my own popcorn whenever I want: healthier and definitely more delicious!

4 Reasons to Ditch Microwave Popcorn

4 Reasons to Ditch Microwave Popcorn

The Dangers of Microwave Popcorn Bags Include Toxins That Can Make You Sick.

1. The Popcorn Bag

Manufactures use chemicals to coat the inside of the popcorn bag. Including:

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

  • Identified by the EPA as a “likely carcinogen” in 2005
  • Teflon and other nonstick chemicals known as PFAS chemicals have been linked to serious health risks like cancer and thyroid disease.
  • This class of chemicals is also refered to as the forever Chemical. Studies show it stays in our bodies for years.
  • Several microwave popcorn brands have removed PFOA chemicals from their bags, but we don’t know which ones because the chemical is not listed on the label.
  • A report tested seven microwave popcorn brands and was able to ascertain that two of them contained PFOS above the threshold.

Do you want to eat cancer-causing chemicals with your popcorn?

2. Toxic Fumes

If you enjoy the smell of popcorn fresh from the microwave, unfortunately I have bad news for you… The artificial butter scent releases a bevy of chemicals. Microwaved popcorn bags generate steam that wafts past our noses and carries more than a dozen chemical into the air. One chemical in particular is diacetyl


  • A respiratory toxin associated with artificial butter flavoring
  • The heat from the microwave causes it to vaporize and disperse into the air
  • Diacetyl causes health issues when inhaled, not when it is eaten.
  • Chronic exposure can irritate and harm the lungs.
  • It is linked to a disease called popcorn lung

3. Popcorn Lung

  • Popcorn lung is a condition that can develop after microwaveable popcorn is heated.
  • It is a rare form of lung disease.
  • According to the CDC when the chemical diacetyl is heated, it can cause a vapor that damages the airways and leads to narrowing of the lung’s airways caused by inflammation.
  • The name “popcorn lung” comes from cases where workers at popcorn factories developed this disease from inhaling the fumes over time.
  • Fortunately popcorn lung isn’t something we really need to worry about getting. Unless you work in a popcorn factory, or you eat 2 bags a day for 10 years

4. Processed Ingredients

What other ingredients are hiding in your popcorn? It looks like manufactures have been cleaning up their act and the ingredients look better than they used to, but there are still a few hidden things to be concerned about.

Microwave Popcorn Ingredients

  • TBHQ
    • A scary preservative that is linked to ADHD, asthma, allergies and dizziness in very small amounts.
    • There is an FDA limit of 0.02 percent or less of the oils in a food.
  • Natural & Artificial Flavor
    • Hidden ingredients could be MSG or Diactyl etc. We don’t know for sure because what goes into flavorings dos not have to be disclosed.
  • Preservatives
  • Trans Fats

Popcorn Can be Healthy

Don’t worry, you can still enjoy popcorn AND avoid toxins. Popcorn can be quite healthy.

Popcorn is

  • A whole grain
  • High in Fiber
  • High in vitamins and minerals
  • Relatively low in calories depending on what you season it with.

Super Simple Beginners Guide to Clean Eating

Homemade Popcorn is Easy

Homemade Popcorn Methods

  1. Pop on the stove top.
  2. Microwave the popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag.
  3. Use a popcorn popper (my preferred method)

Add melted butter and sea salt to your popped popcorn. Or try olive oil or coconut oil.  Enjoy your large bowl of popcorn.

Orville Redenbachers Popcorn Popper

The popcorn popper we have.
It’s still going strong after 10 years.

The bottom Line

Ditch the microwave popcorn bags and the health risks. Make your own. Sure you could save just a few minutes and a little effort by continuing to buy microwave popcorn bags OR you can make your own to your save money and your health!


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