The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
The New Superfood: Dr. Oz, Dieticians Tout Hemp's High Nutritional Value
Move over Cheech and Chong, cannabis is attracting scores of new consumers, but it's hemp products they're after, not the intoxicating marijuana buds.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
Paper, fabric, rope, animal bedding and even building materials can all be made from hemp, which is specifically bred to have no drug value.
Surprisingly though, shoppers are most interested in hemp-derived foods that contain high amounts of protein and vital omega-3 and -6 nutrients, which are fatty acids that help prevent memory loss and calm stress, according to Dr. Oz.
Entrepreneur Jeremy Koosed has built a business around hemp and its nutritious seeds whose shop, Plant Kingdom Bakery and Snackery, is tucked inside a Lyndhurst, OH strip mall. Koosed doesn’t sell the usual snacks, instead, his shelves are lined with items like Coconut Currant Hemp Bar, Lemon-Salted Hemp Seeds and the popular Goo Ball.
“We sell hemp seeds and toasted seeds and crunchy seeds, the seed oil and shelled hemp seeds and hemp protein,” said Koosed on ideastream, who continued at length about hemp's various uses, such as on salads or in granola, pudding, dips and smoothies.
Once shelled, he said the seeds are quite soft and delectably nutty.
Cleveland Clinic dietician Laura Jeffers, also interviewed on the show, agreed with Koosed regarding hemp's benefits.
With their high protein content, healthy fats, fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, she says hemp seeds are a good way to build up all those essential nutrients in one shot.
The demand for hemp products is rising as well. The U.S. imported more than $11 million worth of hemp products—mostly food—in 2011, compared to a paltry $2 million in 2000.
In addition, many contend there are important environmental benefits to hemp.
“It’s a very robust crop,” said Jonathan Page, an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia who has researched the cannabis plant, on ideastream. “It has a vitality that allows it to survive in difficult conditions with insects and fungi and other pests,” he said, adding that it grows so quickly it can outmatch many weeds and requires little herbicide or pesticide.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jared Kaufman
Eating a better diet has been linked with lower levels of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. But unfortunately 821 million people — about 1 in 9 worldwide — face hunger, and roughly 2 billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, according to the U.N. World Health Organization. In addition, food insecurity is associated with even higher health care costs in the U.S., particularly among older people. To help direct worldwide focus toward solving these issues, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals call for the elimination of hunger, food insecurity and undernutrition by 2030.
mevans / E+ / Getty Images
Calls for Radical Climate Action Grow Louder as NOAA Reports Last Month Was Hottest June Ever Recorded
By Jessica Corbett
As meteorologists warned Thursday that temperatures above 100°F are expected to impact two-thirds of the country this weekend, U.S. government scientists revealed that last month was the hottest June ever recorded — bolstering calls for radical global action on the climate emergency.
By John R. Platt
For years now conservationists have warned that many of Madagascar's iconic lemur species face the risk of extinction due to rampant deforestation, the illegal pet trade and the emerging market for the primates' meat.
Yes, people eat lemurs, and the reasons they do aren't exactly what we might expect.