Thursday, August 14, 2014


Now this is a silly little post. But have you ever heard of Quinn Popcorn? Let me start by saying I stopped eating microwave popcorn a long, long time ago, after learning the bag almost all microwave popcorn varieties come in is lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which the EPA lists as a carcinogen and has been linked to various cancers and reproductive system damage. As you can imagine, this made major news, people. Those chemicals vaporize in the heat and saturate the popcorn. And that's just the beginning. We're only talking about the lining, after all. What about the artificial flavors, preservatives, and transfats that are pumped into the actual corn kernels we eat by the fistful? Take diacetyl, the fake flavor used to create that buttery taste we all love so much. It's been linked to lung damage in microwavable-popcorn factor workers. It can also cause thyroid issues, high cholesterol, and bladder problems. Yuck. While a handful of largest popcorn manufacturers sayyyy they have phased out diacetyl from their ingredient list, do I trust them ... or trust what they've replace it with? Nope. Do I want my baby girl eating microwave popcorn? Absolutely not. 

But popcorn--in it's truest form--is a smart, healthy snack. It's high in fiber and antioxidents and low in calories. Some have even categorized it as a superfood. Which brings me back to Quinn

A month or so ago I went to Whole Foods alone, after Cecile had gone to sleep for the night. This may sound super boring to most of you, but I find grocery shopping without a toddler to be quite the luxury. It's dark out, the store is quiet following the dinner rush, and I have all the time in the world to walk every aisle and read as many labels as my heart desires. On one such late-night WF visit I happened down the snack aisle. Cecile loves Annie's Cheddar Bunnies (which are essentially pricy Goldfish, duh), and sometimes I do cave in and just buy them, but I wanted to find something snack-worthy that's a little more wholesome, with more pronounceable ingredients. Just then, I looked up to the top shelf and spotted a simply illustrated box that read "microwave popcorn reinvented." Intrigued, I picked it up and read the label.
Now, it's very possible I've read one too many Michael Pollan books, but knowing where your food comes from is fundamental in our household. So when I was invited to "meet our ingredients" on the back of the Quinn box, I was smitten. Really?? You're going to tell me everything that's in here and where it all comes from?? Holy banana-hotpants. Shut up. I was sold. Nevermind that there are only two bags of popcorn per box, and nevermind that the box costs more than I would ever previously admit to paying for popcorn. Quinn Popcorn boasts they are "farm-to-bag," which is a bit kitschy, but cute. Their product is chock full of nothing but organic, non-GMO Project Verified kernels. There are separate pouches of cold-pressed natural oils and real flavorings you add to the popcorn post-pop, which nixes the need for harmful additives and preservatives. And the microwave bag itself? There are no chemical or plastic liners, and it's compostable to boot. The sheer honesty behind this company is mind-blowing. 

Oh, and so is the popcorn. Cecile just lovvvvves their popcorn. Especially the maple syrup and sea salt. (Yeah, seriously: Move over kettle corn.) Not only does she love eating Quinn Popcorn, but Cecile loves making Quinn Popcorn. If I'm ever looking for a way to eat up some time (read: the witching hour), I grab a bag, pop it, put it in a bowl on the floor, and Cecile mixes in the natural oil and spices with a big wooden spoon, snacking as she stirs. How's that for a toddler-level lesson in fine motor skills? Pretty, pretty good, if you ask me.

So there. That's my silly little post about popcorn. If you're not sold, go try it for yourself. In addition to maple syrup and sea salt, Quinn makes a bunch of other flavors: parmesan & rosemary, butter & sea salt, hickory smoked cheddar, olive oil & herbs, lemon & sea salt, and "just" sea salt. Happy popping! xx.

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