Thursday, October 8, 2009

Real vs. Fake

The food that I have chosen to discuss is popcorn. In the past I would always make my own popcorn from the kernel. I would melt my own butter, and the popcorn was the “real stuff.” I recently have changed my “popcorn eating” habits. I have moved to eating popcorn out of the microwavable bags. The two types are different and both have their pros and cons.

As I changed from the real to fake popcorn, I noticed a few main differences. The fake popcorn smelled much better, it had an aroma that filled the whole house after cooking it. It tasted very good, and had much more flavoring. The real popcorn had almost no smell (unless burned) and it had much less taste. The textures were also slightly different, the real popcorn was much dryer and more crunchy.

The fake popcorn provides no more nutritional value than the real popcorn. It is actually much worse for you. Microwaveable popcorn contains the chemical diacetyl in its butter. This chemical creates fumes that can kill you if you breathe too much of it. Many times the effects (effects one’s eyes, respiratory system, skin) can be seen in popcorn factory workers. Online at “Medical News Today” an article discusses the effects of diacetyl and explains how a popcorn company stopped the use of the chemical for flavoring. It is clear that in real popcorn these chemicals are not found, so the real popcorn is much more beneficial to your health.

I ended up switching to the microwavable popcorn because it is much easier to make. There is minimal cleanup, and minimal effort to make the popcorn. As in many other foods, people switch from “real” to “fake” because of convenience. I made the switch during my junior year in high school, I was too lazy to make my own “real” popcorn.

I feel that I will return to eating the real version of popcorn. Due to my living conditions, and lack of appliances, I won’t be making the return to the real food until the school year is over. After that I will be able to mix it up a bit and return to the “real popcorn” whenever I would like.

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