I had some extra time yesterday, so I finally made this Chili Lime Tequila Popcorn recipe from 101 Cookbooks that I’d been drooling over for months. It made me miss my dear departed Auntie Zan, who used to make us stovetop popcorn all the time, drenched in butter. I have a fear of deep frying, so I thought it would be hard. Instead, it was incredibly easy. I cheered out loud as the corn bombs rattled off the pot lid, then considered again how foolish most “convenience” food is, and how it isn’t really convenient for anyone but big food companies.
That train of thought was cemented when I idly scrolled through the comments on the recipe, and saw a mention of “popcorn butter lung.” I knew that microwave popcorn tends to be insanely high in trans fats, but until yesterday I didn’t know that a chemical called diacetyl in artificial butter was giving factory workers that make the stuff a rare lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans.
I don’t know why this surprises me. I’ve been an advocate of real, fatty food over weird, low-fat food since forever. It seems completely counterintuitive to, for example, add gelatin to make low-fat yogurt creamy when full-fat yogurt is already creamy? But still, the idea that a 44-year-old woman now needs a lung transplant due to popcorn butter…well. It’s an outrage.
After mounthing off about the artificial butter travesty to Le Jenk for a bit, I put the popped corn goodness into a giant paper LCBO bag and head off to see Fantastic Mr. Fox. I’m not a cinephile because I have both snobbish and bummer tendencies. I find that most movies fall into two categories: stupid or depressing (with Wes Anderson representing strongly in the latter). Well, Mr. Fox was one of those rare gems that I wholeheartedly enjoyed. It was funny, it was smart, it was awesome to look at, engaging, touching but not heart-wrenching, overall thoroughly enjoyable. It was the best movie to watch on a -20 degree day after sneaking buttery, spicy snacks into an overpriced movie theatre. Do yourself a favour: melt some real butter onto some real popcorn, then go see it, soon.