!00 Fun Popcorn Facts

Popcorn is the world’s favorite movie snack and while it might be extremely popular, there are some things that not everyone knows about popcorn.

We have discovered 100 facts to share with you about popcorn covering the topics, history, nutrition, consumption and more.

Enjoy the list and we hope you are surprised by a few of these facts.

Popcorn Facts About Its History

  1. Popcorn is actually more than 5,000 years old. That’s right, popcorn has been around for as long as the world we know today.
  2. Ancient people made popcorn by heating sand in a fire and then stirring corn kernels in the sand. That means that popcorn in the past used to be quite sandy.
  3. Popcorn was already being cooked by the native people of Paraguay back in the 1700s. They were also using popcorn as ornamental pieces.
  4. There is no evidence that the Native Americans brought popcorn to the original Thanksgiving dinner.
  5. The first commercial popcorn machine was invented in 1885.
  6. Despite its popularity, popcorn was temporarily banned in movies in 1949 because of how noisy it is.
  7. People in the 1800s often ate popcorn together with milk and sugar in a bowl like cereal.
  8. The world’s oldest popcorn popper was designed around 300 AD.
  9. Ancient Aztecs used popcorn as necklaces and headdresses that they wore during rituals.
  10. The first microwavable popcorn was produced during the latter half of the 1940s when microwaves were discovered to be used for cooking and heating food.
  11. Despite its popularity, popcorn sales dwindled during the 1950s when the television became popular and people stayed home more than going to the theaters.
  12. Native Americans believed that spirits actually lived in each popcorn kernel.
  13. The oldest ear of popcorn was discovered in a cave in Mexico. It is believed to be 5,000 years old.
  14. Popcorn grains were found in Peruvian tombs that are about a thousand years old.
  15. Peruvians did not just make popcorn but also ground the popcorn to make flour so that they could cook it in different ways.
  16. A Mexican “corn god” is believed to have existed when ancient Mexican urns were discovered with murals of this god.
  17. It is believed that Christopher Columbus introduced popcorn to Europe back in the 1400s.
  18. Americans ate three times more popcorn during World War II because they needed the sugar from the popcorn at a time when sugar was strictly rationed.
  19. Native Americans made beer and soup out of popcorn.
  20. At the same time, Native Americans also flavored popcorn with different spices that were natively grown.
  21. Carnival popcorn was first sold at carnivals all over the country during the latter portion of the 1800s.
  22. Popcorn has been around in theaters since 1912.
  23. Popcorn was immensely popular during the Great Depression due to how cheap it is and how it already comes packed with essential nutrients.
  24. The inventor of Orville Redenbacher popcorn, the best-selling popcorn in the world, started making his own popcorn when he was only 12 years old.

Popcorn Facts About Consumption and Other Numbers

  1. Americans eat about 17 billion quarts of popcorn annually. That’s more than any other country in the entire world.
  2. In addition to that, an average American can eat about 70 quarts of popcorn annually.
  3. America’s favorite snack is popcorn if you base it on the volume of popcorn consumed by Americans annually.
  4. Americans eat more popcorn than any other country in the entire world because of how popular it is as a movie-time snack.
  5. Nebraska is the largest producer of popcorn in the world and produces around 250 million pounds of popcorn in a single year.
  6. Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri are also some of the top states in terms of their popcorn production.
  7. When popping, popcorn can reach up to 3 feet up in the air. This is why popcorn needs to be covered when the kernels are popping.
  8. In a single cup of popcorn, there are about 1,600 kernels of popcorn.
  9. 70% of the popcorn sold in America is consumed at home, while 30% is eaten elsewhere such as in movie theaters and sports stadiums.
  10. Unpopped popcorn makes up 90% of the sales for popcorn consumed in American homes.
  11. Moreover, most of the popcorn produced is found in the US because of how much more popcorn Americans eat than any other country in the world.
  12. About two tablespoons of popcorn kernels can produce an entire quart of popcorn, which can be worth around 25 cents.
  13. Every dollar spent on popcorn in movie theaters produces around 90 cents of profit. This means that theaters actually earn a lot of money on popcorn.
  14. Movie theaters make more money on popcorn than the movie tickets themselves because of its large profit margin and the fact that people will also buy drinks alongside their popcorn.
  15. Corn is the largest crop in America thanks in large part to how Americans consume a ton of popcorn every year.
  16. Similarly, corn is the second-largest crop in the world in terms of volume.
  17. Caramel popcorn is one of the most popular types of popcorn in the US as over 200 million boxes of it are consumed annually.
  18. Popcorn expands up to 30 times its original size when it is popped.
  19. The best popping temperature for popcorn is around 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  20. Most popcorn is sold during fall and winter because people spend more time at home eating popcorn while watching television or movies.
  21. Popcorn sales dramatically drop during spring and summer when people are mostly out and about.
  22. The largest ball of popcorn has a diameter of 12 feet and weighs over 5,000 pounds.
  23. The largest box of popcorn has a volume of 52.59 cubic meters.
  24. Orville Redenbacher is the world’s best-selling popcorn.
  25. The most popular flavors of popcorn are butter, white cheese, and caramel.

Popcorn Facts About Nutrition

  1. Popcorn, on its own, is a healthy snack as long as it does not have too many additional flavors such as sugar, butter, and salt.
  2. Popcorn is rich in all of the important macronutrients and has a good amount of carbs, protein, and fat.
  3. There are only about 31 calories in a serving of popcorn. This makes it a low-calorie snack in comparison to potato chips, which are greasy and calorie-dense.
  4. There are no allergens found in popcorn.
  5. Popcorn is gluten-free, making it one of the best snacks that people who follow a gluten-free diet can eat on a regular basis.
  6. Other allergens that you won’t be able to find in popcorn include soy, egg, dairy, and nuts. This means that plain old popcorn is completely free of allergens.
  7. Popcorn is GMO-free.
  8. Popcorn is also whole grain. This means that it can be a good source of your daily whole grain carbs.
  9. As a whole grain food, popcorn contains a good amount of fiber and antioxidants.
  10. Popcorn may contain more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables.
  11. There are about 11 grams of protein per 100 grams of popcorn. This means that popcorn is great for those who want to reach their daily protein requirements.
  12. Additionally, in 100 grams of popcorn, there are only about 4.3 grams of fat making popcorn a healthy low-fat snack.
  13. Many of the calories found in popcorn consist of healthy carbs.
  14. Even though popcorn is high in calories, a fifth of its calories come in the form of good fiber. This makes popcorn a healthy, carb-rich food.
  15. Despite being carb-rich, popcorn only has 0.9 grams of sugar.
  16. You need to eat about three servings of popcorn to reach your daily grain requirements.
  17. Popcorn is rich in many vitamins and minerals that can help improve a person’s overall health. Such vitamins and minerals include folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin E.
  18. Most of the nutrients found in popcorn are contained in the hull and not in the fluffy white part that we all love eating.
  19. Popcorn, when included as a healthy part of a good diet, can aid in muscle growth, tissue recovery, digestion, and bone building.
  20. Air-popped popcorn is the healthiest type of popcorn there is because 100 grams of air-popped popcorn will provide only 87 calories.
  21. You can get 13 grams of protein in air-popped popcorn, making it an ideal snack for bodybuilders and athletes.
  22. Popcorn is actually the most protein-rich grain in the entire world and even has more protein than quinoa and other types of healthy grains.
  23. You can get more iron in popcorn than in iron-rich foods such as eggs and beef.
  24. As long as you eat popcorn plain or with a bit of salt, it can be a healthy part of any nutritious diet.
  25. The fattening part about popcorn usually comes from its flavors such as butter, cheese, and caramel.
  26. Popcorn flavors can have more than double the calories, fat, and sugar you can get from eating a plain serving of popcorn.
  27. Popcorn has nearly the same amount of potassium as a banana, which is often the food that we think of the most when we talk about potassium.
  28. For those who have weight and sugar problems, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you substitute popcorn for bread and other carbs.

Other Interesting Popcorn Facts

  1. Not all types of corn will pop because popcorn is actually a special type of corn that pops when exposed to enough heat.
  2. Illinois has an official snack and yes, it’s popcorn.
  3. There has been an annual popcorn day in Illinois since the 1950s.
  4. January 19th is national popcorn day in the US.
  5. Meanwhile, October is the national popcorn popping month because of how there is more popcorn sold during October and the months of fall than any other season.
  6. Zea Mays Everta is the scientific name of popcorn.
  7. Popcorn is a type of maize or corn and is a member of the Maydeae tribe.
  8. Most microwaves today are actually made to have a popcorn control button that you can press if you want to make popcorn.
  9. Popcorn comes in two shapes called snowflake and mushroom.
  10. Most movie theaters sell popcorn that comes in the form of the bigger snowflake shape to give the illusion that the box is full of popcorn and to have a higher profit margin for each corn kernel.
  11. Popcorn is not the only type of corn that pops. In fact, rice, millet, milo, and quinoa can also pop.
  12. Each kernel of popcorn contains a 4% water content.
  13. It is the water that is actually making the popcorn pop as it heats up and causes enough pressure inside the kernel to burst the popcorn open.
  14. Pressure is responsible for popping popcorn because heat will allow pressure to build up in the form of steam inside the kernels and will make the popcorn burst open.
  15. You can find a few unpopped kernels of popcorn inside a bag of popcorn. These are called spinsters or old maids.
  16. About 2% of each bag of popcorn is composed of old maids.
  17. Old maids do not pop because these are kernels that lack enough moisture in them.
  18. Freshly harvested popcorn will pop but won’t produce the best kind of popcorn due to how high their moisture levels are.
  19. You should not store unpopped bags of popcorn in the refrigerator because it will dry out the water inside the kernels, making it difficult or even impossible to pop the kernels.
  20. It is best to store unpopped popcorn in cupboards that are cool and dry.
  21. There are plenty of different bizarre flavors of popcorn including beer, Butterfinger, jalapeno, marshmallow, and pumpkin.
  22. Certain North American cultures that use popcorn as a Christmas tree decoration.
  23. Popcorn can be cooked in oil or using air

We hope you enjoyed reading all these facts about popcorn. We will add to the list as we uncover any other fun or interesting facts about popcorn.

Learn More – Read These Articles:

How to Use Popcorn to Create Fun Learning Activities

Eight Uses for Unpopped Popcorn Kernels – Do Not Toss Them

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