Have you ever noticed that eating too much popcorn in a cinema can make you feel sick? That's because it probably is making you sick. Popcorn may seem like the one snack available in a cinema that’s not that bad for you. After all, popcorn is just corn, a whole grain. If you ask for it without butter, surely it’s reasonably healthy? Actually it isn’t at all. As you probably know, some cinema chains buy pre-popped popcorn, which is warmed up using lights in the foyer. Pre-popped popcorn is typically cooked in unhealthy trans fat oils, and flavoured and coloured with artificial ingredients, often including MSG. As this kind of popcorn is popped first, then stored for an unknown amount of time, it has preservatives added. Cinema foyer popcorn typically contains four individual supply products, including the popping corn, cooking oil, butter and seasoning salt. The corn itself is grown using insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, fumigants and other chemicals used to "treat" the corn. Most cinema popcorn is cooked in an oil product that is mostly hydrogenated coconut oil, a highly toxic trans fat. The oil used for popcorn also contains artificial butter flavouring. That's why when you ask for no butter, the popcorn still slightly buttery, and has a weird yellow colour. So if you order popcorn with no butter and no salt, that's what you're getting: corn that has been compromised by insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, fumigants and other chemicals, as well as trans fats, artificial flavours and preservatives. What if you do go for the butter and salt? The artificial-butter-flavoured topping is typically made mainly from hydrogenated soya bean oil (another trans fat), artificial flavouring, beta carotene for colour, and preservatives. Different suppliers use different brands or supply sources, but this roster of toxic ingredients is typical.
One flavouring agent used in popcorn butter is called diacetyl, and it has been associated with lung disease among workers in the factories where it's made. Popcorn supply companies don't have to disclose the use of diacetyl, or specific exactly what their flavouring agents are made of. So popcorn comes out as an assault on our health. From the report: "One standard bag has 1,610 calories. That’s like eating six scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, four bacon strips, and four sausage links before the lights come up." If you enjoy eating popcorn at the cinema, why not bring your own? Unless you ruin it with chemicals and other junk ingredients, popcorn is extremely healthy. Buy organic popping corn from your supermarket , put in an air popper, and add a little extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt, then smuggle it into the flicks.
The whole thing will cost less than one-tenth of what you'll pay at the cinema and it will taste so much better - and best of all, it will actually be very healthy, instead of a massive toxic hit to your body.