Popcorn is a comfort food for many of us. My family made countless batches of the stuff on top of the stove, and, later, in our popcorn machine (remember those?). Then, microwave popcorn came along. There’s no denying the convenience factor of the microwave version, but I was never that comfortable eating it, given the ingredients.
I’m not afraid of “popcorn lung” from the buttery-flavor-ingredient diacetyl; I don’t know anyone who eats that much popcorn. But some of the other ingredients in many microwave popcorn varieties should give pause to anyone. If only there was a company who made microwave popcorn with less junk… oh, wait a minute, there is — Quinn Popcorn.
Billing their product as “microwave popcorn reinvented”, Quinn Popcorn eschews the use of hydrogenated oils, preservatives, and diacetyl. Other microwave popcorns can contain PFOAs, also called C8, used in the lining of the bags. PFOA is also used to make stain-resistant and stick-resistant coating materials, such as Teflon. Problem is, it’s been shown to cause tumors and birth defects in animals.
You’ll find none of that in this popcorn, either, nor will you find a susceptor — according to the Quinn website, this is “paper coated with aluminum flake (or metalized film, or graphite) and PET (Polyethylene terephthalate — the same plastic use for most soft drink bottles). It gets incredibly hot so the chemicals in the paper, plastic, glues, and metal are more likely to be released. Also, the heat often causes the plastic and metal to burn off or delaminate.” When this happens, all of that goes straight into your popcorn. (Susceptors are used in other microwave popcorns to get the corn — a low-moisture ingredient, even when sitting in a pool of oil — to pop, as the waves in a microwave heat only water.)
So what will you find in Quinn Popcorn? Simple ingredients you can pronounce. I have a box of their Vermont Maple & Sea Salt in front of me, and there are four ingredients: organic popcorn, non-GMO canola oil, maple sugar, and sea salt. The popping bag is compostable; the box is recyclable.
You’ll find intriguing flavor blends, as well. In addition to the Vermont Maple & Sea Salt, you can choose from Lemon & Sea Salt or Parmesan & Rosemary (if I had to choose just one, it would be the Parmesan & Rosemary, but they’re all very tasty).
Quinn Popcorn was started by Kristy and Coulter Lewis, right after their son — named Quinn — was born. They are still in the start-up stages (the growing pains of which are humorously detailed on the company’s blog) of the business but successfully secured funding through Kickstarter and won Daily Candy’s Start Small Go Big competition. The popcorn is available in a limited number of stores in New England. But thanks to the glories of technology, you can also purchase these products online. Move night at home just got a whole lot better.