This week’s post is a little different. I wanted to talk about an important news story that broke yesterday. Here’s a link to it at dailymail.co.uk, one of the first papers to report.
I have a friend who also suffers from popcorn lung (different friend – not the one with the corn allergy). I used to see her a lot, but she had to move away from my area, to a lower elevation, because she couldn’t breathe at 5000 feet.
The flavoring in question is called diacetyl. It’s one of the ingredients that gives microwave popcorn its buttery flavor and aroma. If you make microwave popcorn, DON’T INHALE THE STEAM. This is what causes popcorn lung.
Some popcorn manufacturers are now labeling their products “no diacetyl,” but I have heard that they just tweaked the flavoring and gave it a new name and are still using it. This is a fight that’s going to continue, and more people are going to be hurt before it’s over.
From the article:
“It first came to public attention when eight former employees of the Gilster-Mary Lee popcorn plant in Jasper, Missouri, developed bronchiolitis obliterans in the late 1990s…in 2000, the Missouri Department of Health called in The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to make a determination of the cause, and to recommend safety measures…After surveying the plant and each patient’s medical history, NIOSH recommended respiratory protection for all workers in microwave popcorn production.”
This is seriously nasty stuff.
I ditched all my microwave popcorn except for this organic brand, with no added flavoring, which I found at Vitamin Cottage:
It’s more expensive, but I don’t regret a single penny. I love popcorn, but it’s not worth risking my ability to breathe, thank you.