This holiday season, serve and snack on Shawnee’s Greenthumb Popcorn. The organic corn is tossed with nutty-cheesy tasting nutritional yeast high in B12 plus spices and spirulina flakes, a form of high protein algae harvested from lakes that contains essential acids. The low-fat popcorn is tinted green from the algae and has a satisfying umami taste with a hint of cayenne and garlic powder.
Shawnee Chasser has been making savory popcorn for 40 years, and fed it to fellow activists on marches across the country in support of nuclear disarmament. The Miami native studied philosophy at the University of Florida at Gainesville and then moved to her brother’s farm in Little Haiti, where she lived in a teepee with her two children.
She organized fieldtrips for school children to learn about sustainable living and had a café. Three years ago she moved to North Miami, where she lives in a tree house built into a giant banyan with her 15-year old adopted daughter, Lantana, two dogs and a pet raccoon.
She started the popcorn business 21/2 years ago with her daughter, Wren Levy, after her son Joshua died suddenly. She needed something to focus on in her grief.
Her popcorn is made in a Pembroke Pines commercial kitchen with the popping, mixing and packaging done by hand in 250-bag batches. The idea was to create a healthy but tasty snack that keeps in the bag for up to three months. Once open, it is best to eat right away.
The label depicts Shawnee holding Wren’s two children with a blurb about making a difference in the world “one pop at a time.” Shawnee says profits will go to building a center for homeless teenagers.