Sunday, October 12, 2008

Smarter Choices

It started in my teens when my mom started buying this stuff. The bag always said pop for under 2 minutes but it usually took 3 minutes. Then my family would pour REAL butter on the butter flavored bits and sprinkle with salt.

Mmm microwaved popcorn. It's quick, easy and convenient. It's also full of nice, delicious, additives that decrease it's nutritional value and can potentially make you physically ill. After becoming more aware of how unhealthy it really is I put a permanent ban on the stuff.

In September I caught an episode of Good Eats that was on popcorn. Somehow when a attractive man talks about stuff I listen very well. This month I bought an air popper that resembled the one my grandparents used in the 80's.

What I've learned in the past 12 days:
The convenience of microwave popcorn isn't enough to sacrifice the healthy properties of air popped. In my opinion the convenience is nonexistent. For my microwave, popcorn usually takes almost 3 minutes to pop. My air popper takes about 5. Cutting just over 2 minutes isn't convenient.

Lets not forget the nutritional part*.

Servings (note, 1 serving of air popped is 4x as much as microwavable)
Air popped = ½ cup unpopped
Microwaved** = 2 tbsp unpopped

Air popped: 108
Microwaved**: 120-170 (sometimes as high as 210)

Air popped: 3.5mg
Microwaved**: 310mg-380mg

I add unsalted butter and salt to our popcorn. Even with the additions, it's still healthier than microwavable.

*Air popped popcorn ... I could only find nutrition facts for 1 cup air popped. ½ cup unpopped is 1 serving according to the bag and it makes about 3 ½ cups.
**A popular microwavable popcorn brand

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