Green Report: Hemp Foods

Dylan Simonson

Hemp seeds in a white bowl with hemp leaves laid across the top of them.
Hemp seeds (Photo Courtesy of Cheifyc of Pixabay)

Hemp is used for all kinds of amazing things, as we have covered in the past. Today we focus on hemp foods. A food craze that has really hit the ground running since recent legalization. Major players in the hemp food area are hemp seeds and hemp milk, however, there are other great ways to obtain your daily hemp.

To start, let us discuss some of the amazing health benefits from hemp. One of the main things that hemp food products provide, is an almost perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 for the human body. It also has an amazing balance of all the other essential fatty acids. While not a complete protein, it stacks up spectacularly against other plants and can be supplemented by plants such as peas to add lysine and help make it more complete. Hemp is also chock full of iron, fiber, zinc, and magnesium, supplements Americans are often sort of in their diets. If you have any allergies, hemp is known to be nut, wheat, soy, and gluten free and is considered to be something that can’t cause allergic reactions.

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The main source of hemp food products comes from the hemp seed or the hemp heart. This is where practically all hemp food comes from and therefore, is the part that contains all the nutritional value. Hemp seeds can be found at many local grocery stores, especially the more natural and organic ones, and can help lower bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation, lower the risk of some cancers, promote fat burning versus storage, and reduce chance of forming blood clots.

Hemp seeds can be eaten whole by themselves and are delicious that way. They’re often described as nutty, but I usually say that they taste like a cross between a sunflower seed and a corn nut, but way smaller. Besides eating by the handful, hemp seeds go great on things like salads, muffins, bagels, or anywhere else you would normally put a small nut or seed.

The other major player in the hemp food game is hemp milk. Hemp milk is a great vegan alternative to other milks in case you have allergies to dairy or nuts, but also environmentally. Hemp is a hearty plant that grows practically anywhere, meaning that transport costs both monetarily and environmentally can potentially be reduced. It also doesn’t require pesticides, and uses little water compared to most other milk options all while reducing CO2. When the hemp is ready to harvest, the entire plant can be utilized , leaving zero waste, which would be quickly biodegraded even if it wasn’t used.

Besides being environmentally friendly, hemp milk also contains all the benefits that come from the hemp seeds to create it. It is also incredibly easy to make yourself at home and can be flavored just like it is at the store. At its base, hemp milk is just blended hemp seeds with water that is then strained. Vanilla, honey, and chocolate can be added by themselves or together to add flavor and sweetness.

Besides the two heavy hitters, hemp can be made into all sorts of foods, including protein powders, vodka, beer, and even coffee. Here’s a list of 73 different hemp products.