Ashley Koff and Hemp History Week |

Ashley Koff and Hemp History Week

Happy Hemp History Week!!!

Didn’t know it was the 2nd Hemp History Week (May 2-8th)? Neither did I up until a week ago when I finally read all the literature from an Earth Day food event I went to at Akasha hosted by Ashley Koff.

So why does Hemp need a History Week?

Well if you haven’t been to a natural food shop (or a Body Shop for that matter) in the last ten years then maybe you don’t know that although Hemp is a thriving retail industry in America (with an estimated $400 million in annual retail sales) it is not allowed to be grown in the United States since 1957.

There are many reasons why that’s the case (along with a few conspiracy theories most notably involving William Randolph Heart) most of them centering around confusion that Hemp is a narcotic (BTW: It’s not. Hemp has no drug value. Hemp seeds contain no measurable amount of THC the active ingredient in Weed aka Pot aka Cannabis) and a 1950s shift in incentives for plastics over natural fibers (an d we’ve all seen how that’s panned out…).

But it’s totally wrong b/c here’s the thing about Hemp: it’s amazing!

Hemp provides raw materials for both food and fiber. It is an environmentally sustainable solution for potentially thousands of products ranging from food and body care to plastics, paper, textiles, building materials and even ethanol.

Hemp is an extremely durable, fast growing, sustainable fiber that is drought tolerant. It doesn’t require massive quantities of pesticides and fertilizers (unlike conventionally grown cotton. FYI: 25% of all the pesticides used in the U.S. are applied to cotton) to grow well. Hemp’s growth rate is so rapid, it is ready for harvest in only 4 months, reaching a height of 6-12 feet, and producing 3-6 tons of dry fiber per acre.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Henry Ford Got It, and openly advocated for, the commercial hemp industry. But since 1957 (except for 1 farmer who can legally grow it in North Dakota since 2007) it’s not legal in the US of A.

So what does this have to food? Well funny you ask, now if you hang out in those said natural food shops perhaps you seen hemp butter, hemp oil, hemp seeds, and hemp cereals. The light nutty flavor of the hemp seeds can be found in breads, cereals, waffles, snacks, salads, and even ice cream. So here you go, some lovely lovely Factoids (Factoids!) on our star of the week “Hemp” and food.

  • There’s 9grams of protein per 3 tablespoons of shelled hemp seed.
  • Hemp seeds have a perfectly balanced 1:3 ratio of naturally occurring Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs for our body.
  • Hemp seed oil is loaded with the ideal balance of Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 6’s & Omega 3’s) which are required by the body yet cannot be produced within the body.
  • Hemp butter is Green which in the immortal words of Kermit the Frog might not be “easy” the first time but put it on bread or rice and you realize it tastes great and it’s kinda cool that it’s Green (kinda like Kermit!).

So Happy Hemp History Week! Go try something green!

To read more, see the blog, The Edible Skinny.

Posted on: May 16, 2011
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