Reinventing a Classic Snack: Sustainable (and Sustainably Packaged) Popcorn
Quinn Popcorn has completely reinvented microwave popcorn—redesigning the bag to eliminate chemicals and making it compostable.
Two years ago, when they had their first child, Kristy and Coulter Lewis decided to start eating healthier. One of their favorite snacks was microwave popcorn, and when they couldn't find a truly sustainable version in stores, they ended up completely redesigning it themselves. Quinn Popcorn was born.
They started with the bag. A typical popcorn bag is coated with chemicals, from PFOA to PFCs. It also has a patch made of metal and plastic. After a lot of research and experimentation, the newly-formed popcorn company was able to make a new version that's made only of paper, and is completely compostable. The paper's pressed in a special process to make it grease-proof.
They turned to the ingredients next, choosing organic popcorn, and eliminating GMOs and preservatives. They were surprised by how difficult it was to make the changes, as they write on their website:
I’m not sure we would have started this journey had we known how hard it would be. The thing is, once we got going we had to see it through. We hit every road block imaginable. Along the way we also had our eyes opened to the food system and the incredible changes taking place.We are not activists. We don’t eat the right food all the time. We are, however, blown away by all the crap that gets thrown in with the food we buy. Most of the time it’s completely needless. While begging suppliers to pull it out we constantly got the answer, that’s just how it’s done. Sometimes they didn’t even know why.\n