January 19th is National Popcorn Day. Who started it? *Shrugs* Who knows?!
Whether you pop it on the stove, in the microwave, or with a fancy popping machine, make sure you take time to celebrate this super snack that is both fun to eat and a healthy snacking option. Here are your fun facts about one of America’s favorite treats.
Popcorn probably grew first in Mexico, though it was also used in China and India hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Americas. The oldest popcorn ever found was discovered in the “Bat Cave” of central New Mexico. It is thought to be about 5,600 years old.
Americans average an annual consumption of 68 quarts of popcorn each which means we eat more than 17 billion quarts of popcorn all by ourselves. This is enough to fill the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California more than 50 times.
Popcorn joined the mobile generation in 1893 when an inventor named Charles Cretors introduced the first moveable popcorn machine at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Because it remained a relatively lost cost item, popcorn maintained its popularity through the Great Depression.
Sugar shortages during WWII made candy hard to come by, catapulting popcorn consumption to three times its pre-war levels.
Popcorn hit a career slump when televisions started making their way into American homes impacting the sale of movie tickets and the sale of popcorn which was primarily consumed at the movies.
Thankfully, our longing for popcorn was so strong that the need for an easy way to produce it at home helped support the development of the first microwave ovens. The first microwave popcorn was invented in 1946.
Popcorn contains more antioxidants than fruit and vegetables. It contains twice the amount of polyphenols , an important antioxidant. It’s the only snack that is 100% unprocessed whole grain. 69% of people believe popcorn is high in fiber, low GI and low in calories.
Although 2/3 of people consider popcorn to be a healthy snack, many are unaware of the real health benefits… 76% people eat popcorn regularly, at least once a month.
Make sure you celebrate today…with a big bowl of popcorn!