Back in early March, I told you about the dangers of eating microwave popcorn, because of a chemical called PFOA. And earlier this month, I told you that the Government of Canada had declared a chemical called triclosan toxic to the environment. Both of these chemicals are things we come into contact with on a regular basis in our daily lives. To find out just how much we’re affected by these and other household chemicals, authors Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie locked themselves in a chemical-laden apartment for a weekend. They tested themselves before and after the experiment, and the results were published in a terrific book called Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health.
This is the first in a series of posts I’m going to entitle You Are What You Eat. In the case of microwave popcorn, you’re both broke and unhealthy. But wait, isn’t microwave popcorn supposed to be the cheap, healthy alternative to traditional snack foods? Well, in fact, popcorn can be a cheap, healthy alternative to traditional snack food – if you buy a bag of popping corn and pop it yourself.
Let’s look at the economics of consumer popcorn first. I went to two of my local grocery stores (one a big chain store, the other an independent store) to survey the prices of microwave popcorn and bags of popping corn, both organic and non-organic varieties. I used the cheaper price of the two stores to compile the table below.