Popcorn and school goes hand in hand
Were you aware of the many ways school and popcorn go hand in hand?
The USA loves popcorn to the tune of 17 billion quarts of popcorn every year.
After all, who can resist the aroma of freshly popped popcorn? This is one reason why schools and popcorn have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship.
Popcorn and school
Popcorn does more than simply provide a subject of a physics lesson in high school. As of April 2109 it makes the list for the USDA Child Nutrition program.
“This memorandum provides guidance on crediting popcorn in the child nutrition programs (CNPs), including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Previously, popcorn could not contribute to any component in the meal patterns, but could be served as an “extra” food. Based on stakeholder feedback, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is updating CNP food crediting guidance to allow popcorn to credit as a whole grain.”
Additionally some school vending machines may carry organic popcorn or lite-popcorn. Popcorns drenched in hydronated fats are usually not allowed anymore.
Popcorn and school fundraising
Almost every school and its auxiliary programs struggle to find the funds they need due to state budget cuts. Many teachers are struggling to pay for the school supplies needed so their students don’t fall behind. Simple things like notebooks, pencils, sharpeners, Loose leaf paper and backpacks can add up quickly. Some teachers report spending up to a $1,000 or more out of their own pockets to purchase these necessary school items.
Perhaps you have seen your local school host a popcorn fundraiser. Fundraising Zone (website) tells that typically, the child will be sent home with a popcorn fundraiser brochure. Some parents will complain but most are glad to assist. It is because they know the money will go towards their child getting the best well rounded education available. Selling popcorn may make the difference between your kids having sports equipment in the gym or craft supplies for art class. Other parents struggle with the idea of their child’s teacher having to take on a second job to pay for these items themselves. So they willingly support the arrangement.
A great after school snack
Popcorn also makes a great afternoon snack while kids do their homework after school. All it takes is a forced hot air popcorn popper purchased at walmart or amazon. You can get one for about $20. They last for years as long as you don’t let any melted butter or oil get on the heating element. Parents can buy popcorn kernels in bulk. A 2 gallon bulk bag of popcorn will have 32- 1 cup servings. That is the best deal in town. Compare that to the price you pay for popcorn at the movie theater.
Are you healthy conscious? Then consider using melted coconut oil on your popcorn instead of vegetable oil or margarine.
Part snack and part science lesson
Science class is about to start. So watch the video above and then read this next.
So why does popcorn pop?
Why kernels explode? Your science lesson for today.
A corn kernel is made of mostly starch with a little water inside. It is surrounded by a very strong outer shell called a pericarp. When a kernel heats up, the water inside heats up. We know that after water heats to its boiling point, the water will turn to steam. Steam takes up a much greater amount of space compared to the same amount of liquid water.
However, the kernel’s outer shell will not allow the kernel to expand yet, so the water stays liquid as it keeps heating up. This increases the pressure inside the kernel.
The increase in temperature and pressure causes starch molecules to start unwinding.
Once the water in the kernel reaches about 180 degrees Celsius, which is almost double the normal boiling point, the pressure will be so high that the shell will crack. This crack immediately causes the water to boil and turn into a gas. The rapid escape of the gas blows the starch jelly out of the kernel. This material quickly cools and hardens into the foam-like substance we call popcorn. — Source
Yep! Popcorn and school go hand in hand— And it looks like they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
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