The horrible drought that hit the Midwest this summer was not kind to field corn, the type of corn fed to animals and turned into processed food, nor did it love popcorn, a water-loving corn variety grown in the Corn Belt, alongside soybeans. The wilting heat and dry conditions caused prices to jump 30 percent this summer.
Cheaper swap: Popcorn can grow in any climate, so look for local brands at your farmers’ market. Not only will it be cheaper; it’ll be safer. Typical microwave-popcorn bags are lined with toxic grease-repelling chemicals, while loose kernels can be popped on your stove or in a paper bag in your microwave—no toxic bag needed.