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Are lunch bags safe for microwaving popcorn?
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Mary
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 6:03 pm    Post subject: Are lunch bags safe for microwaving popcorn? Reply with quote

TV chef Alton Brown makes MW-popcorn by putting popcorn+oil+salt in a brown paper lunch bag, and zapping it as usual. This sounds easy and cheap and fun. But I worry that there might be dangerous chemicals in brown paper lunch bags. Any ideas?
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kgb1001001



Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:32 pm    Post subject: They're fine Reply with quote

Paper lunch bags are already meant to come in contact with foods, hot or cold. If they contained anything toxic, the FDA would already have sounded the alarm about their intended use. Alton's use is not that far off -- the only difference is that the heat is maintained for a few minutes in the microwave -- they should be perfectly safe.
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Gabrielle



Joined: 27 Oct 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no problem with using the paper bags. I would, however, not use recycled ones.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies. They gave me courage to try it last night, and it worked great!
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't use a pastic bag because it would lock the steam in making tough popcorn.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plus I'd be afraid that plastic would melt, or give off toxic fumes, when heated.

I've settled on paper lunch bags (labeled as such) with the open end folded over twice. I've tried (1) plain popcorn, (2) popcorn with oil, (3) popcorn with oil and salt, (4) plain popcorn in a bag with holes, and (5) popcorn with oil in a bag with holes. (The holes were punched with a standard paper punch).

The lightest, fluffiest was (5). It came out even better than popcorn popped on the stove in a pot with oil.
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you make popcorn on the stove, NEVER cover the pot with anything but a screen type pot cover. A collander upside down covering the pot is also fine. The steam MUST be allowed to escape unimpeded. The steam is what makes popcorn tough.
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LoraA444



Joined: 07 Jan 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Bethel, CT

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always use the brown bags for popped corn. Yummy!
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kim
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:36 am    Post subject: Here is an article about pot. hazard fr. microwave popcorn Reply with quote

Check it out here - there is a chemical used to make butter flavoring called diacetyl that releases toxic fumes when heated and has "completely destroyed the lungs" of popcorn factory workers. No one knows if it is dangerous on the consumer level since the FDA won't investigate the issue and the EPA is limiting the release of their information to flavor manufacturers (personally, I don't think they should be allowed to withhold any information - tax dollars fund the studies which I do think should be done, but all information should be made public).

http://www.seventhgeneration.com/making_difference/newsletter_article.php?article=501&issue=77
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kim
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as for the paper bag leaching chemicals, i'd imagine unbleached would be better as the aforementioned article suggests. really not sure about potential chemicals in paper or if recycled versus non recycled would be better. haven't come across literature on that yet. you might also consider the glue they use on the paper, though i'd imagine they'd use something as non toxic as elmer's. but you never know.
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pilot guy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: Here is an article about pot. hazard fr. microwave popco Reply with quote

Check it out here - there is a chemical used to make butter flavoring called diacetyl that releases toxic fumes when heated and has "completely destroyed the lungs" of popcorn factory workers. No one knows if it is dangerous on the consumer level since the FDA won't investigate the issue and the EPA is limiting the release of their information to flavor manufacturers (personally, I don't think they should be allowed to withhold any information - tax dollars fund the studies which I do think should be done, but all information should be made public).

Just about any oil that is aerosolized will cause serious lung problems, so I doubt it is just the result of the chemical. Haven't you ever heard of lipoid pneumonia for example.
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IndyRob



Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a big fan of AB, and have tried the microwave lunch bag trick. But IMHO, pop your corn in a pan with coconut oil. It's still not healthy, but a far more pleasant way to die Wink.
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JulieB



Joined: 30 Oct 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another thought for a quick toasted cheese sandwich, to avoid the grill. . .not the same, but less the fat. Toast bread, make cheese sandwich, place in lunch bag, heat very quickly. . .about 2 seconds. Will depend on your microwave. Not like Grama used to make, but it's a warm Office Special alternative in crunch time. Wink
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livinlargeinthesun



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never heard of popping popcorn this way. I will definitely have to try it. Thanks! Smile
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Dude111



Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome.....

I dont see why they wouldnt be OK..
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