How Australian-grown hemp went from being an illegal substance to a legal food source with promising health and diet benefits


information, local-news, Australian hemp, hashish sativa, Ecofibre, Ananda Food, hemp food, hemp oil

“Hemp is not a drug. Hemp is not bad.” So says Kieren Brown, a microbiologist and managing director of Ananda Food, a firm on the forefront of bringing hemp merchandise into the Australian food chain. Ananda Food operates a processing plant at Beresfield for hemp food merchandise. Ananda Food is a subsidiary of Ecofibre Ltd, a fast-rising newcomer on the earth of legalised hashish merchandise. Ecofibre went public in March of this yr, exuding the arrogance of main shareholder Barry Gilbert, an Australian businessman who has poured hundreds of thousands into the enterprise. According to Ecofibre’s web site, Ananda Food offers clients with assured 100 per cent Australian grown and processed hemp-based meals. The father or mother firm is lively in analysis and improvement, and presents merchandise within the health and textile markets with a agency footprint within the US. Hemp food turned legal in Australia in November 2017. Cannabis sativa or hemp, has been utilized by people for over 10,000 years. Long earlier than it was made illegal, hemp was recognised for its therapeutic makes use of within the historic texts of the Greeks, Romans, Indian Hindus, and the Assyrians. Today, regardless of sanctioned scientific analysis being comparatively skinny on the bottom, we all know that there are round 25,000 totally different makes use of for hemp. Hemp is a incredible source of protein because it accommodates each important amino acid our our bodies want to meet our dietary necessities. Ninety per cent of the oils from hemp are polyunsaturated fatty acids, akin to Omega three and 6; these are the great fat for wholesome mind improvement, good joints, and general wholesome physique perform. Hemp can also be excessive within the antioxidant vitamin E, which can assist to decrease the danger of Alzheimer’s. The husk of the hemp seed is predominately an insoluble fibre which is nice for intestine health; preserving your intestines and digestive tract clear and wholesome. It’s received zinc to assist the immune system struggle off invading micro organism and viruses, and magnesium for regulating muscle and nerve perform, blood sugar ranges and blood strain. Recent scientific analysis into hemp has demonstrated enhancements in bone power, which can assist scale back the danger of osteoporosis. It additionally has been proven to promote more healthy pores and skin, hair and nails. There are two important properties of the hashish plant species; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient that generates a euphoric “high”, whereas CBD is a non-intoxicating compound that helps mitigate the consequences of THC. You can’t get “high” from CBD. Hemp, in the meantime, is a hashish selection that’s primarily grown for food and fibre. Cannabis sativa accommodates a higher focus of CBD than THC, making it the perfect source for food merchandise. “We grow hemp as a grain crop for food,” says Brown. “From a food stand point, I see hemp as a proactive health choice . . . You eat its various food products for their nutritional constituents, as a way to maintain and stay healthy.” Ananda Food has been rising hemp as a grain crop in Tasmania since 1999. Since November 12, 2017, when Australian laws accredited using hemp seed merchandise as food for human consumption, there was a vital rise in Australian farmers rising hemp as a food product proper throughout Australia. “I don’t know exactly why the plant was ever called ‘weed’, but it will grow anywhere. There are varieties that will grow in every latitude, even as far north as Siberia and Russia,” Brown says. “We support hemp farmers in Tasmania, south-east Queensland and into NSW, from Launceston to Forbes, and Wee Waa to Goondiwindi. “I do know of trials rising hemp in Griffith in addition to some elements of Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia too.” While the company grows their food based hemp on Australian farms as remote as Wee Waa, the food products themselves are processed in the Hunter Valley. “The freshly harvested seeds arrive right here and they get saved in separate silos… in batches. This is so we will batch management the product again to a specific paddock, proper again to a specific grower,” Brown says. “This permits us to do what we name traceability verification. So, if a buyer identifies an challenge with a specific product, we will work out what paddock that product initially grew in, what day it was harvested, what day we processed it, what day we packed it, all through from paddock to packet.” Hemp seeds are cold pressed to extract the oil, which has all those healthy polyunsaturated fats and essential fatty acids, or milled into seed cake to further process it into protein powder and hemp flour. Alternatively, hemp seeds are simply de-hulled – a process that nicks off the outer husk and leaves behind a soft, white, creamy coloured kernel with a deliciously mild, nutty taste; a bit like peanut butter. “It’s fairly a nutty flavour that comes via if you eat the seeds uncooked . . .,” Brown says. “We use a mechanical course of to produce our numerous hemp food merchandise, so there isn’t any chemical or enzyme extraction, which provides a brisker, higher tasting product.” How to eat hemp based food products is entirely up to you. Drizzle the oil straight over salads, or mix in as an ingredient for a salad dressing. Supplement the hemp protein powder with your regular whey powder and add it to drinks, such as smoothies and shakes. Make bread, cakes and pasta using hemp flour, or simply sprinkle the de-hulled hemp seeds over your cereal for breakfast in the morning. “Because it is such a comparatively new product, you are actually solely restricted by your creativeness, when it comes to the way you eat it,” Brown says. “We have a few recipes on our web site about how to utilise hemp as an ingredient, however we have additionally partnered with chef Michael Moore, who’s utilizing it as an ingredient at his restaurant, O Bar & Dining, in Sydney.” Chef Michael Moore believes hemp derived foods could be a game changer in the food industry. He caused a stir amongst Sydney diners this year, when he introduced hemp as a key ingredient in dishes such as grilled hemp seed flatbread, macadamia and hemp seed dip, and hemp pasta filled with cashew spinach and pistachio. Ananda Food hemp-based food products are becoming more widely available under the Woolworths Macro branded products, and they are working closely with IGA Supermarkets to get their hemp based foodstuffs on their shelves soon. Consumers can buy direct from Ananda Food via their website (anandafood.com). “Hemp just isn’t dangerous, it is truly a very nice food product,” Brown says. “It has a implausible dietary profile, it is nice tasting by itself and it blends nicely with different elements to make actually fascinating dishes. And, there’s a lot extra you are able to do with hemp in addition to . . . I feel hemp is a very thrilling product, when it comes to the way forward for food and agriculture in Australia.” Daniel Honan is a shareholder of Ecofibre Ltd. 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