Despite winning the vote and therefore casting movie popcorn to the howling dark void of Not Being A Thing, I’m aware that my stance that Popcorn is Garbage Food is a controversial statement. And to you popcorn defenders, I get it. Movies are, on average, 5 hours long nowadays, and snackers gotta snack. However, that doesn’t mean you need to shove tasteless, oversalted, greasy nuggets of cardboard into your gaping maw in the vain hope that even if it makes you feel terrible, at least you’ll feel something. There is a better way. You have options. Here is a list of superior alternatives to movie popcorn that we didn’t cover:
- Cotton candy. It’s fun. It’s shareable. It’s something that, God willing, you can’t eat at home. It comes in two colors and only barely qualifies as food. But above all, it’s quiet.
- Sunflower seeds. The saltiness is the most defensible aspect of popcorn. But popcorn ain’t the British rule over India - it doesn’t have a monopoly on salt. Sunflower seeds pack way more sodium per morsel, they’re crunchy without being loud, they’re dirt cheap, and easy to sneak into a theater. And obviously you get them without shells. You’re at the movies, not a baseball game.
- Chocolate or yogurt covered pretzels. This is just a solid food all around, but importantly, satisfies both the sweet and salty criteria of movie snacking. One package of covered pretzels will easily satisfy two people through the course of a movie.
- Jerky. It’s not just for road trips. Turkey jerky, beef jerky, venison jerky, spicy or peppery or teriyaki, it’s all good.
- Burritos. I have no explanation for this one, only the time in college when I was day-drinking, snuck a Chipotle burrito into a Tuesday matinee showing of Avatar, ate it before the end of the previews and fell asleep 20 minutes into the movie. It was one of the greatest days of my life.