From sweet and salty to buttery, you can't deny that popcorn is a pretty tasty snack. It is healthy, delicious, nutritious, and satisfying. No wonder popcorn is a popular in-between meal snack, late-night munchies choice, and the ultimate companion for movie nights.
As a popcorn fan and a health nut, I can't help but think if my popcorns are genetically modified organisms (GMO). With corn being the most commonly grown crop in the US and most of it is GMO, could my popcorn be GMO?
And it turns out popcorn uses a distinct type of corn or known as flint corn. It makes up little of all corn grown in North America. Currently, there is not any GMO popcorn available on the market. However, this does not mean all popcorn sold on the market is non-GMO. While the popcorn kernels itself is non-GMO, this does not mean all the ingredients and additive that goes with the popcorn kernels are also non-GMO. This includes butter, oil, sugar, seasoning, flavoring agents, and other components. If you prefer to avoid GMO popcorn, look for USDA certified organic popcorn, or have a "non-GMO project verified" logo on the packaging.
To help you find the best organic popcorn, my family and I did a taste test on a few organic popcorns on the market. We put together this guide so you can get ready for movie night.
Types of Popcorn On Market
Making popcorn kernels on the stovetop is a traditional way and the best way of making homemade popcorn. You get to control what spice and flavor to add with your popcorn kernels and pop away on the stovetop.
Pre-packaged microwave popcorn is the most convenient and easiest way to make hot popcorn while still gets that homemade feel. Except you won't need to put as much afford as you would like making it from scratch with popcorn kernels.
However, these pre-packaged microwave popcorn are often filled with salt, fat, and chemicals. Not to mention, the popcorn bags themselves are often coated with chemicals and lined with plastics. These factors have raised health concerns and have been found to have a negative impact on your health.
Purchasing already popped popcorn is a super convenient and easy way to snack. However, you won't get that hot and pungent aroma experience that you would with organic popcorn kernels or pre-packaged popcorn. But on the other hand, you won't have to risk burning popcorn and set off the fire alarm.
Nothing tastes better than pop your own popcorn on the stovetop with organic popcorn kernels. While buying already popped popcorn is convenient, you can't beat fresh and hot popped organic popcorn right off the stovetop.
Arrowhead Mills is one of the most popular brands that sell organic popcorn kernels. You have two options available: organic yellow popcorn and organic white popcorn, and there are differences between the two popcorn kernels options. Organic yellow popcorn kernels make wonderful large and fluffy popcorn, while white kernels make smaller and more tender popcorn.
- USDA organic certified, non-GMO verified, certified gluten-free.
- It is made with organic yellow popcorn kernels. So they will turn into larger, fluffier and sturdy popcorn when popped.
- Arrowhead Mills organic yellow popcorn is made with single ingredient with no additives.
Organic yellow popcorn
If you are a health nut who loves to make your own organic popcorn and be in control of what you put in your mouth, then Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Popcorn is the best option. It is made from organic yellow popcorn kernels, non-GMO verified and is gluten-free. Spice it up with your favorite spices and hit the play button.
If you are a classic microwave popcorn fan, then you must try Quinn Just Sea Salt Popcorn. Simply pop the bag in the microwave, and in minutes you will have a bag of steamy hot popcorn that is ready to be shared (if you wish). And if you changed your mind and want some fancy popcorn, add your favorite seasoning to the pouch, and in minutes, you will have a bag full of goodness.
- USDA organic certified, non-GMO verified, and gluten free friendly.
- No Hydrogenated Oils, Preservatives, Diacetyl, PFOAs, or Susceptor
- Made with Pure Pop Bag- the bag is made with paper and paper alone. No chemical coating, plastic, or any scary stuff. It is even compostable.
- Farm to bag transparency: With Quinn's popcorn, you will know exactly where the ingredients come from.
- ~80 calories per 3 cups.
Organic Yellow Butterfly Popcorn, Sea Salt
Quinn Just Sea Salt Popcorn is a healthy and classic microwave popcorn that should be a staple in everyone's pantry. The popcorn pops well and comes out light in texture. This is a great popcorn for a health nut that doesn't want to load their popcorn up with butter, oil, and flavoring. And if you ever do want to fancy it up, you can tweak it to your own liking.
Now, you do need to know that some microwaves just don't get along with Quinn popcorn. If this happens to you, be sure to check out their website for tips and tricks.
If you a cheddar popcorn fan, then you must try Late July White Cheddar organic popcorn. It is made with finger-licking good organic white cheddar cheese with no artificial coloring and flavoring.
- 67 Calories per cup
- It is USDA organic certified, non-GMO verified, and gluten free.
- No artificial flavoring, color, and preservatives.
- EWG score: 5
Organic Popcorn, Organic Sunflower Oil And/Or Organic Safflower Oil, Organic Cheddar Cheese [(Organic Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Disodium Phosphate], Organic Whey, Organic Buttermilk, Sea Salt, Organic Flavor, Natural Flavor, Lactic Acid, Organic Skim Milk.
Late July White Cheddar popcorn offers an excellent taste balance between cheesiness and saltiness. It provides an aged cheese quality that we found pleasantly pungent. This is a cheesy popcorn that is finger-licking good cheesy popcorn that you would "accidentally" eat the entire bag.
Whether you are looking for dairy-free option or a vegan looking for cheesy popcorn option, Less Evil Organic "no cheese" cheesiness popcorn is perfect for you. This popcorn is organic, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly. It is the perfect snack without the guilt. And not to mention this popcorn is air-popped, so it is lighter, fluffier, and lower in fat and calories.
- 110 calories per three cups
- USDA Organic certified, non-GMO Project verified, vegan, gluten-free certified.
- No refine sugar and salt
- No artificial flavoring, coloring, and preservative
- Made with organic coconut oil.
- Air popped popcorn
Organic Non-Gmo Popcorn, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Tapioca Solids, Organic Rice Flour, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Organic Flavor, Yeast Extract, Lactic Acid, Natural Flavor, Organic Malodextrin, Gum Arabic, Natural Flavor (Derived From Botanical Extracts)
This cheesy 110 calories gluten-free, vegan, and organic popcorn snack is delicious and can be indulged without the guilt. Taste just like nutritional yeast, and it is full of flavor without being overbearing. If you never had nutritional yeast before, it contributes a cheesy and nutty flavor.
Popcorn just got extra healthy with Living Intention Superfood popcorn. Yes, popcorn just got even healthier. This superfood organic popcorn comes with live active culture from added probiotics and health perks from anti-inflammatory superfood turmeric.
- USDA organic certified
- It contains added probiotics and superfood turmeric
- Gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian friendly.
- 137 calories per three cups
Popcorn*, Sunflower Oil*, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Nutritional Yeast, Red Bell Pepper*, Paprika*, Turmeric*, Dulse Leaf*, Coriander*, Black Pepper*, Lemon Peel*, Onion*, Chilies*, Cumin*, Garlic*, Fermented Black Cumin*, Turmeric Extract* and Ashwagandha Extract*. *Certified Organic
This organic, vegan, and gluten-free popcorn is super delicious and offers a unique taste of a lovely spice balance. This popcorn flavor is perfect for anyone who loves a nice spicy kick. It is almost like eating your favorite Indian comfort food, but without the guilt. If you can't handle some heat, then check out their other options.
Another one of my favorite from Living Intentions Super Food is the Cinnamon Twist. Eating this popcorn is like having a cheat-day pastry. Every bite is bursting with goodness from maca root, mesquite pod, and maple sugar. This popcorn has really taken your snacking to a whole new level.
- USDA organic certified, Gluten-free
- Made with superfood like maca root, mesquite pad, reishi, and fermented ginger.
- 150 Calores per 3 cups
Popcorn*, Sunflower Oil*, Maple Sugar*, Maca Root*, Mesquite Pod*, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Cinnamon*, Reishi Mycellium*, Fermented Ginger Root*, Nutmeg* and Stevia Extract*. *Certified Organic
What is there not to love about this cheat-day pastry flavored popcorn. I love that it is not overloaded with added sugar and has a great balance on the spice level. It truly offers a unique flavor.
Blue Evolution Organic Seaweed Spicy citrus popcorn is another unique flavored popcorn. It is enriched with superfood seaweed. Oh yes! And seaweed will provide essential nutrients like iodine, iron, and magnesium.
- USDA organic certified, and Gluten-free.
- Simple ingredients: organic popcorn kernels, Tamari sauce, sesame oil, lemon, orange, cayenne, and sea lettuce powder.
- 120 Calories per 3 1/2 cups.
Popcorn*, Sunflower Oil*, Sea Lettuce Powder*, Sea Salt, Coconut Sugar*, Tamari Granules* (Tamari Soy Sauce* [Soybeans*, Salt, Sugar], Maltodextrin*, Rice Flour*), Sesame Oil*, Garlic*, Yeast Extract*, Lemon Juice Powder* (Maltodextrin*, Lemon Juice*), Orange Peel Powder*, Cayenne*, Ginger*, Cold-Pressed Lemon Oil*, Citric Acid, Black Pepper*. *Certified Organic
I know seaweed on popcorn might sound a little strange, but it is totally worth trying. This organic and gluten free popcorn has a complex flavor of orange citrus meets spicy red chili, Tamari soy sauce, and a hint of sea salt. It is a little sweet, a little spicy, and a little salty. It is a complex and unique flavor popcorn that you will ever eat. Every bite is like a flavor bomb that makes you want to eat more and more.