The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

But(ter) it tastes sooo good

By Susan Tallant/editor-in-chief

My mom still makes popcorn the old-fashioned way. She pours a little oil in a big Dutch cn on the stovetop and voila! In minutes, after shaking the pan a few times, fresh popped corn is served.

I have been telling her for years that microwave popcorn is pretty good, and much easier to make.

But she is stubborn when it comes to change, and that is proving to be a good thing.

Last week, the first-known case of popcorn lung turned up in a consumer. Wayne Watson, a popcorn fanatic from Colorado, was eating about two bags of microwave corn per day. He began having the same symptoms as factory workers who inhale large amounts of a buttery aroma agent called diacetyl.

Watson’s doctor, Cecil Rose of the National Jewish Medical Center in Denver, sent industrial hygienist Michael Van Dyke to the popcorn lover’s home to determine if he actually had the same disease.

“ In your home microwave, you’re seeing similar levels of diacetyl to what we’ve seen in microwave popcorn manufacturing plants,” Van Dyke said.

Similar levels? OMG!! My healthy snack is now lethal.

Last week, Weaver Popcorn announced it would remove the flavoring ingredient from its product.

Hopefully other companies will follow suit. California legislation is currently looking at a bill to ban the ingredient from the entire state.

In May, ConAgra Foods, which makes Orville Reddenbacher, told ABC News it was confident that everyday use of its popcorn was safe for consumers and that the focus of concern is workplace exposure.

Sorry, Orville. Consumer Watson can now barely breathe.

Factory workers are dying, some can no longer walk and some have very little use of their lungs. This is not breaking news. Yet companies are just now banning the fatal product? Does it take a consumer getting ill before the factory workers finally get the protection they deserve?

It took years to convince my mom to buy a microwave because she likes cooking things the old-fashioned way. Well, Mom, (as usual) you are right once again.

I guess I will give up my microwave snack. Come to think of it, pour-over-butter probably isn’t very healthy anyway.

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