Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Let’s Talk About Hemp

In addition to being National Eosinophil Awareness Week, this week is also the first annual Hemp History Week. (Wow! It’s been a busy month!) Check out the Hemp History Week website to learn more about the events taking place.

I discovered hemp when searching for an alternative for my milk-allergic son. We tried them all – rice, oat, almond. Soy was out due to a soy allergy. Hemp milk was his choice for use on breakfast cereals. (He prefers Living Harvest Vanilla Hemp Milk.) And hemp milk is also great for my dairy-free baking projects. I often use unsweetened hemp milk or chocolate hemp milk, depending on what I am making.

It wasn’t until recently that I learned that it is currently illegal to grow hemp in the United States. Why? Well, it goes back to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Marijuana and hemp happen to come from the same plant genus (cannibas), but they are different varieties, and hemp does not contain the same psychoactive ingredient as marijuana. Nevertheless, The United States Drug Enforcement Agency doesn’t distinguish between varieties of cannabis. When the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 made it illegal to grow marijuana, growing hemp was also banned. But, hemp is grown (legally) in Canada and most industrialized nations, and it is legal to purchase hemp in the US.

Interestingly, despite the controversy surrounding hemp, it could be considered a wonder crop; hemp is an extremely hardy plant, requiring no pesticides or fertilizer and very little water to thrive, and hemp seeds are high in protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids.

While many people believe that hemp is a nut, it’s not; hemp is a seed. Best of all, the seeds have not been known to produce allergic reactions, and the milk formulas are free of all common allergens.

Hemp milk, anyone?


Jennifer said...

Hi, it's Jennifer from Living Harvest. I'm so happy to hear that your son enjoys our Tempt Hempmilk. Also, thank you for spreading the goodness of hemp!

Colette said...

Jennifer, thanks for making a great product! Hempmilk really was a breakthrough for us in allergen-free eating.

Veggiemuse said...

We have been enjoying hemp to...We were introduced to it about 8 months ago. We have been using it in raw dips and sauces and LOVE it!