I knew, from the way bacon turned up in just about everything, that this was only the beginning for J&D's, the mastermind behind Baconnaise. The latest food concepts up the company's sleeve? Bacon Ranch and Bacon Pop — because, as the motto claims, "everything should taste like bacon." We put it to the test. Should everything really taste like bacon? Read on to find out.
Grocery shopping can be a daunting task. That's why a recent article from Prevention magazine really caught my eye. The magazine asked experts who work in the field of food safety what they avoid eating at all costs, and though some of their answers were things I already knew, others were pretty eye opening. Here are a few items to think twice about the next time you're out buying food.
- Microwave popcorn. Popcorn usually makes a great snack, but the bags used to make microwave popcorn are lined with harmful chemicals that are "linked to infertility in humans." Prevention warns that these chemicals are transferred to popcorn upon microwaving and can live in your body for years to come. Instead of buying microwave popcorn, make it on your stove or use an air popper instead.
To hear what other items the experts avoid, read more
Nothing beats the smell of microwave popcorn on a rainy afternoon, but the reasons to avoid this treat are mounting.
First there is the problem of popcorn lung, a respiratory issue caused by a chemical used to create the buttery flavor. Now there seems to be a new chemical-related problem, and this time it is a chemical not used on the popcorn itself, but found in the bag. Most microwave popcorn bags are coated with a perfluorinated chemical (PFC), which is designed to keep the oil from permeating and seeping through the bag. PFCs can break down to form another more hazardous chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which can leak onto the food during the heating process. The EPA has recommend that PFOAs be added to the list of likely carcinogens and has also requested that manufacturers stop using the chemical by 2015. A tenacious chemical compound, some PFOAs never break down and remain in the environment for the long term. This compound has been linked to cancer and birth defects in animal studies, and early epidemiological studies indicate that pregnant women exposed to the compound may have babies with reduced birth weight.
If reading about popcorn has made you crave it, here is a healthy way to make your own popcorn minus all those pesky chemicals.
I find the aroma of freshly popped microwave intoxicating, because basically I am a sucker for anything salty and crunchy. Since it is the last day of National Popcorn Popping Month, I thought I should break the bad news. Unfortunately that familiar movie theater smell may actually be dangerous.
The fumes from butter flavored microwave popcorn contain the chemical diacetyl, which is an additive that gives food that buttery taste. It has been linked to lung disease in workers at factories manufacturing butter flavoring and buttered flavored popcorn. Recently a man from Colorado, who ate two bags of extra buttery flavored microwave popcorn daily for several years, was reported to have contracted "popcorn lung," or broncheolitis obliterans in medical speak.
Doctors say that eating microwave popcorn isn't dangerous, but they're not yet sure about the dangers of inhaling the fumes. In response, some microwave popcorn companies including those that make Orville Redenbacher, Act II, Pop Secret and Jolly Time are planning on ditching that chemical from their products.
I'm all for anything in moderation, but this little tidbit of info is pretty scary. How can inhaling the chemical be harmful, but consuming it be safe? It doesn't make sense, and this is a great example of why reading nutrition labels is so important. As a rule of thumb, when I check out a product, if I haven't heard of an ingredient, I don't buy it.
Fit's Tips: When it comes to microwave popcorn, Newman's Own Organics makes a pretty tasty product, but I prefer to pop my own on the stove. All you need is a pot, a lid, some canola oil, and popcorn kernels. It tastes better than any microwave popcorn I've ever had, and I feel good knowing what's in it. If you don't want to use oil, you can microwave the kernels in a lunch size brown paper bag. Check out my recipe here.