Microwave Popcorn

Microwave Popcorn

General Info


  • Diacetyl is known to cause serious, sometimes life-threatening respiratory illness in microwave popcorn plant and flavoring plant workers. Many companies then began to stop using the chemical in their products, replacing it with another ingredient called 2,3-pentanedione (PD), which is also used to impart a buttery flavor and aroma.

Unhealthy Components



  • Perfluoroalkyls, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS): Chemicals used to keep grease from leaking through fast food wrappers, are being ingested by people through their food, and showing up as contaminants in the blood. PFOA line microwave popcorn bags, and leach onto the popcorn when the bags are heated.


Health Risks

  • Endocrine disruption and adverse effect on your sex hormones
  • Developmental and reproductive risks
  • Researchers have linked various PFCs to a range of health dangers, such as:

    Health Risks of Popcorn

    • Infertility: PFOA was linked to a 60 to 154 percent increase in the chance of infertility
    • Thyroid disease: If left untreated, can lead to heart disease, infertility, muscle weakness, and osteoporosis
    • Cancer: PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs in animal tests (liver, pancreas, testicles and mammary glands in rats), and has been associated with an increase in prostate cancer rates in PFOA plant workers.
    • Immune system problems: PFOA was found to decrease all immune cell subpopulations studied in the thymus and spleen, and caused immunosupression
    • Increased LDL cholesterol levels: A 2010 study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that children and teens with higher PFOA levels had higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL or "bad" cholesterol.



  • Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way in a skillet. For flavorings, add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dill weed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.