I used to eat a lot of popcorn. Not the microwave monstrosity but pure unadulterated air popped corn. It always amazes me that we can take an otherwise healthily food and turn it into the worst possible substance to put into our bodies. And it really doesn’t taste any better.
So I broke out the The Poppery by West Bend. This is an old air popper from the 70’s and 80’s that has a 1500 watt heating element. I believe these are now prohibited at least 40 of the states and will dim the light in your house. At one time I had 5 of these pop corn workhorses. These will pop corn to perfection quicker than you can say Jimmy Cracked Corn.
You can still find these industrial strength air pop corn poppers at garage sales and flea markets. Of course there is an active trade on eBay but expect to pay an average of $40. The Poppery II is also quite popular but only has a 1200 watt heater. I picked up all of my poppers at thrift stores for $2 each. I only have the one Poppery now. All others have been given away or sold.
I can image that these sold for just a few bucks when new and have increased in value 10 fold. Why?
Well, they can also be used to roast green coffee beans. You see, I have always liked to tinker and make my own things - I bake my own bread, brew my own beer and roast my own coffee.
Here are some links if you are interested in roasting you own coffee:
Back to the pop corn from Wikipedia:
Air-popped popcorn is naturally high in fiber, low in calories and fat, contains no sodium, and is sugar free. This can make it an attractive snack to people with dietary restrictions on the intake of calories, fat, and/or sodium. For the sake of flavor, however, large amounts of fat, sugar, and sodium are often added to prepared popcorn, which can quickly convert it to a very poor choice for those on restricted diets.
One particularly notorious example of this first came to public attention in the mid-1990s, when the Center for Science in the Public Interest produced a report about "Movie Popcorn", which became the subject of a widespread publicity campaign. The movie theaters surveyed used coconut oil to pop the corn, and then topped it with butter or margarine. "A medium-size buttered popcorn", the report said, "contains more fat than a breakfast of bacon and eggs, a Big Mac and fries, and a steak dinner combined." The practice continues today. For example, according to DietFacts.com, a small popcorn from Regal Cinema Group (the largest theater chain in the United States) still contains 29 g of saturated fat, as much as three Big Macs and the equivalent of a full day-and-a-half's reference daily intake.