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(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana has an official state bird, flower, tree, stone, song, poem, insect and

rifle — and soon, an official state snack.

Legislators have sent Governor Holcomb a bill to make Indiana-grown popcorn the official state

snack. Brookston Representative Don Lehe says it’s not just a feel-good bill, but a way to raise

the profile of a major Indiana crop. Popcorn accounts for 80,000 acres of Hoosier farmland,

about one-eighth of Indiana’s total corn acreage. Lehe notes the state consistently ranks either

first or second in popcorn production.

And Lehe says Indiana played a critical role in making popcorn an American snack staple, with

Brazil-born Orville Redenbacher’s work on popcorn genetics at Purdue in the 1940s.

Redenbacher’s namesake company, now owned by ConAgra, still has a factory in Rensselaer,

and Lehe says the Indiana Office of Tourism Development is considering a popcorn trail winding

through landmarks connected to Redenbacher and other Hoosier popcorn companies.

If Holcomb signs the bill, popcorn will become Indiana’s first edible state symbol. 35 states have

state foods, including official state jellies, appetizers, mushrooms, steaks, cookies and

doughnuts. Texas has 10 separate state foods, including both a state pie and a state cobbler, not

to mention a state pepper and a state native pepper. And Oklahoma has an official 12-course state

meal. But Indiana’s last culinary legislation got chopped in the House 12 years ago, when

legislators declined to move forward with a bill making sugar cream pie the official state pie.

Five states have a state snack, with popcorn already the choice of Illinois.

It’s not the only bill this session affecting Indiana’s state symbols. Indiana already has a state

aircraft, the World War II-era P-47 Thunderbolt. Legislators have voted to change that to a specific

Thunderbolt, the Hoosier Spirit II which resides in Evansville’s Wartime Museum.