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Microwaved Buttery Popcorn = ?

 
 
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 05:15 pm
Sept. 4, 2007, 4:14PM
Microwaved popcorn may be linked to illness


By MARCUS KABEL
Associated Press

Consumers, not just factory workers, may be in danger from fumes from buttery flavoring in microwave popcorn, according to a warning letter to federal regulators from a doctor at a leading lung research hospital.

A pulmonary specialist at Denver's National Jewish Medical and Research Center has written to federal regulators to say doctors there believe they have the first case of a consumer who developed lung disease from the fumes of microwaving popcorn several times a day for years.

"We cannot be sure that this patient's exposure to butter flavored microwave popcorn from daily heavy preparation has caused his lung disease," cautioned Dr. Cecile Rose. "However, we have no other plausible explanation."

The July letter, made public today by a public health policy blog, refers to a potentially fatal disease commonly called popcorn lung that has been the subject of lawsuits by hundreds of workers at food factories exposed to chemicals used for flavoring.

In response to Rose's finding, the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association issued a statement today recommending that its members reduce "to the extent possible" the amount of diacetyl in butter flavorings they make. It noted that diacetyl is approved for use in flavors by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

One national popcorn manufacturer, Weaver Popcorn Co. of Indianapolis, said last week it would replace the butter flavoring ingredient because of consumer concern. Congress has also been debating new safety measures for workers in food processing plants exposed to diacetyl.

The FDA said in an e-mail it is evaluating Rose's letter and "carefully considering the safety and regulatory issues it raises."

William Allstetter, spokesman for National Jewish Medical, confirmed the letter was sent by Rose, a specialist in occupational and environmental lung diseases and director of the hospital's Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic.

"There have been no other cases that we know of other than the industrial occupational ones," Allstetter said.

Rose acknowledged in the letter that it is difficult to confirm through one case that popping buttered microwave popcorn at home can cause lung disease.

However, she said she wanted to alert regulators of the potential public health implications.

Rose said the man with diseased lungs consumed "several bags of extra butter flavored microwave popcorn" every day for several years.

David Michaels of the George Washington University School of Public Health, who first published Rose's letter on his blog, The Pump Handle, said the finding is another reason for federal regulators to crack down on diacetyl exposure by workers and consumers.

"This letter is a red flag, suggesting that exposure to food flavor chemicals is not just killing workers, but may also be causing disease in people exposed to food flavor chemicals in their kitchens," Michaels wrote on his public health policy blog.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 2,700 • Replies: 22
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 05:21 pm
Another good reason to stick with the hot air popper.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 05:21 pm
thanks ever so much edgar, I will continue eating my nuked pop corn with a entire stick of real butter and a coke or beer.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 05:23 pm
I like my popcorn plain.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 05:24 pm
Same thing happens if you use regular flavored cooking oils. Thats why we have all that stuff under a hood.
Microwaves should be kept out on the porch where theycant hurt anyone. (Unless that doosh bag kickycan is around carrying a poodle)
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 05:26 pm
I have plans to go back to the popcorn of my youth. I broke my not too heavy microwave popcorn habit by going without a microwave for a couple of years recently (not to mention years before I had one) - except for watching movies at friends' house, when I'd devour the microwave popcorn.
I tried an air popper, and, in contrast to some and in agreement with others, I hated it and tossed it out, maybe even in the trash, but probably to St. Vincent's (three stores down from our old studio gallery).

I've since bought a package of regular old popping corn, at fifty-nine cents a package. We used to use a certain amount of corn oil, I think, and popcorn, a good pan, and a gas burner. Added our own butter and salt at the end. Re a good pan, I presume my thrift shoppe belgian ceramic over cast iron pan would do.

Now I'd play - for the finished popcorn - with olive oil, or an olive oil/melted butter mix, garlic, chile, ad infinitum.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 05:27 pm
Quote:
Another good reason to stick with the hot air popper.
gaaack


We did find a reason to have a hot air popper, you can use it to roast small batches of coffee beans.


THE BEST POPPER IS A BIGOLE GRISWOLD CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 05:39 pm
I do a combo of what Osso and FM suggest. I buy organic popping corn in bulk at the co-op, a good butter, some sea salt and herbs. Into a hot dutch oven goes the kernels with some oil and pop pop pop... toss with melted butter/salt/herbs and it's a gourmet treat that puts that nasty bagged stuff to shame. Cheap too, even with the best ingredients.
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cyphercat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 07:12 pm
Greenwitch, what herbs do you like to use? I've been wanting to start doing that, but I'm not good with making up my own flavor combos-- I need recipes for everything! Smile
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 07:42 pm
Revisiting this thread, I suddenly recalled that Mrs edgarblythe and I have not had popcorn in about two years. Very Happy
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Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 07:57 pm
cyphercat wrote:
Greenwitch, what herbs do you like to use? I've been wanting to start doing that, but I'm not good with making up my own flavor combos-- I need recipes for everything! Smile


and I'm not good with recipes, I just cook by taste and experience.

Here are some of the basics, think ethnic herb groups, you can buy many as a premix:

Mexican: chili, chipote, cumin, marjoram, cilantro

Italian: garlic, basil, oregano, romano or parm. cheese

Thai -chilies, lemon grass, thai basil, cilantro

Indian - corriander, cumin, curry, fennel, fenugreek, garam masala

Jewish - dill, kosher salt, celery seed, parsley

Go light to start - you can always add more of something you like. I generally use butter as a base for all of them, but you don't have to.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2007 08:05 pm
Nods, naturally, with green witch and farmer. Sure, more with the dutch oven.

But I'm only one person. My lil' miserable belgian pan is fine.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2007 04:16 am
I dont think that theres a kernel of truth to this thread's premise.
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cyphercat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2007 10:33 am
Thanks, Greenwitch Smile
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2007 01:10 pm
whats a dutch oven?
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2007 01:15 pm
cast iron (usually) pan with deep sides (say, 7") and heavy lid. I've had mine, oh, 37 years, bought it at an army/navy store.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2007 01:15 pm
Originally a Dutch oven was a heavy, cast iron pot that could be buried in hot coals and used for moist baking or roasting.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2007 01:19 pm
http://www.nexternal.com/armynavy/images/dutchoven-no-legs1.gif


That looks more modern than mine, but fits the general idea. You can get them enamelled, for lotsa bucks.
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2007 03:03 pm
All you have to do is cut open one of those microwave bags of popcorn and look at what it is you are eating and you'll not ever eat the stuff again.



As for the fumes, I have no doubts that they contribute to lung problems. The accounting department I worked in for many years had our own employee kitchen. My office was next to it. All during the day, many times a day, people made microwave popcorn. Luckily our office also had windows that opened so we could air the place out, especially when the twice a day burned bag of popcorn aroma filled the office.


Any pot will do as far as stove-top popcorn popping (remember those thin aluminum pans that Jiffy Pop is made in). The important parts of the method are waiting for the right oil temperature before adding seeds and the constant shaking of the pot, along with learning to listen to the popping seeds to judge when to remove from heat. The thicker the pot bottom, the more leeway you have in that zone before burnt popcorn and the less shaking you have to do.


For flavoring/seasoning popcorn, a couple years ago I started a thread with a long list of recipes. Here's the link:

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=15085&highlight=


I just looked at the link for the recipes in that old topic. Be sure to check it out. They've added a lot of new ones.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2007 12:08 pm
A major popcorn supplier has announced "No more 'buttery ****' to be used."
0 Replies
 
 

 
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