Popcorn – Cancer Prevention?

Can Popcorn Be Used for Cancer Prevention?

People ask that question because there are some benefits to air popped popcorn.  Popcorn does contain fiber.  It is low in calories compared to other snacks.  However when asking “does popcorn have cancer prevention qualities”?  Overall, the answer is “no”.  The reason is that the majority of people do not eat non-GMO popcorn and do not hot air pop it.  They either pop it in the microwave or buy it at a movie theater.

Microwave Popcorn

The inside of the popcorn microwave bag contains chemicals to keep the bag from catching on fire.  They are the same chemicals used in teflon pans.  This nonstick coating inside the bag can decompose.  The chemical used has been connected to infertility, prostate, and liver cancer.

GMOs and Popcorn

GMOs stand for Genetically Modified Organisms.  The original idea was to work with nature to make foods that would be shelf stable in the grocery store.  Bread would maintain freshness longer.  Tomatoes would have a pretty red color that would appeal to shoppers.  Food would be more consistent which would lead to longer marketability.

However, GMOs have a dark side.  They are linked to physical problems, such as infertility.  They are outlawed in Russia and in 19 European nations.  In the United States, many products are made from GMO corn and soy.  Popcorn is one of those products.   Oil used for buttery toppings for popcorn may be made from GMO soy.  This may not be disclosed by the manufacturer.

More than 90% of corn and soy is now GMO or genetically modified organisms. Outlawed in Russia and in 19 European countries (at the time of this writing), experts agree that not enough testing was done before using GMOs in the United States. They may be involved in the increase of intestinal problems involving gluten intolerance and other problems such as infertility.

They may also contribute to cancer but research is “inconclusive”, at least in the United States.  Apparently, Russia and 19 European nations have found it conclusive enough to ban GMOs.

Popcorn Chemicals

Since two causes of cancer are radiation and chemicals, it is important to consider what chemicals are in a microwave popcorn bag or in popcorn sold in movie theaters.  If you see TBHQ listed in ingredients of the popcorn bag, that is a name for a chemical made from butane (a gas). Should you be eating it?

Also, a chemical used to flavor popcorn may affect the lungs. There is even a term for it, “popcorn lung”. It is caused by a chemical called diacetyl, which creates the synthetic butter flavor. This diseases has symptoms similar to COPD.

Best Way to Eat Popcorn

Of course, the way around these problems is to use a hot air popper.  Plus, use non-genetically-modified popcorn.  It is hard to find, but is possible to find over the internet.


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