I couldn’t have a blog about food and sustainability without mentioning hemp, that much maligned and misunderstood plant (which has none of the narcotic effect of the marijuana plant). In fact, I had a nice helping of shelled hemp seeds with my yogurt and honey this morning. They’ve got a rich, buttery texture similar to pine nuts or cashews, and taste a bit like sunflower seeds (yum!). Hemp seeds are one of the healthiest things you can eat. Here are a list of some of the benefits of adding hemp seed and hemp oil to your diet (courtesy of Hemp Oil Canada):
-Excellent source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA
-Lower blood LDL cholesterol levels
-Lower blood pressure
-Improve cardiovascular circulation & function
-Improve immunity levels
-Reduce symptoms of PMS & menstrual cramps
-Reduce inflammation and the symptoms of arthritis
-Reduce & treat dry skin and hair conditions
-Reduction of many degenerative diseases through preventative measures
-Hemp products are GMO-Free, Gluten-free, Herbicide & Pesticide free
The Canadian government legalised hemp cultivation in 1998 (farmers must be licensed and use approved seeds, so I won’t be growing it in my backyard plot anytime soon). This is actually the one crop that my Dh feels strongly enough about that he has seriously considered dropping everything and becoming a hemp farmer.
We’ve got a great store in town (www.hemptown.com) that sells hemp clothing and other products, and on any given day one of us is wearing something made with this amazing plant. Hemp fibre requires no pesticides and much less water to produce than cotton, and the fibres are a lot stronger. It could also replace trees for making paper products and has great potential as an alternative fuel (it can be grown almost anywhere and could supply regions with locally produced biodiesel). Check out the links below to learn more.