Friday, September 07, 2007

Popcorn Lung
You can get sick from being around lots of microwave popcorn. Who knew? The disease has a delightful name: popcorn lung. No, really. I figured that buttery sludge (which I love) could kill me, but assumed it would be a heart attack. It turns out, though, you don't even have to eat the stuff to suffer its ill-effects, just inhale it. There's so much wrong with that, starting with: can the popcorn industry not come up with a way to fake-butter-up the corn without using diacetyl, the (natural) solution that's sickened popcorn testers and factory workers - and now, an enthusiastic eater - when heated and inhaled over long periods?

But I guess mostly I'm thinking....wouldn't it be nice if one of our biggest problems to solve was the scourge that is popcorn lung? As for reality, it will have to stay 5th on the list, behind global warming, the Iraq War, genocide in Darfur, and our health care system woes, just ahead of traffic light synchronization.

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