By Steve Elliott
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods on Wednesday announced that its facility, located in Winnipeg, "aced" the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards Recertification. According to Manitoba Harvest, it is the world's largest hemp food manufacturer, growing, making and selling their own hemp foods.
The company improved a full "grade" from their first certification last year, according to chief executive officer and cofounder Mike Fata. "Improving our BRC Certification standing to 'A-Grade' showcases our commitment to continuous improvement -- especially when it comes to food safety and quality," Fata said.
"If a school had a hemp production program we'd already have our Ph.D.," Fata said. "Receiving a top grade in our recertification validates our team's commitment to quality."
BRC Certification is considered the world's leading food safety and quality certification program, and is used by suppliers in more than 100 countries.
To receive BRC Certification, Manitoba Harvest underwent a voluntary audit by a third-party certification body that ensures the production, packaging, storage and distribution of safe food and consumer products. The annual certification is meant to reassure retailers and consumers of the capability and competence of Manitoba Harvest's facility, and therefore the integrity of its products.
Celebrating their 15th year in business, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods offers products like hemp hearts (raw shelled hemp seeds) and Hemp Pro 70 (hemp protein concentrate).
By Steve Elliott
Staff members have been instructed to begin the process of writing rules for the development of the long-banned industrial hemp crop in Kentucky, according to a news release from the state Department of Agriculture.
The state's industrial hemp commission is calling on GOP Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul to write a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice to "make Kentucky's intentions known," reports Jonathan Meador at WFPL.
Paul and Comer are hoping for clarity from the feds on the current legality of growing a hemp crop in Kentucky. The issue remains murky in the wake of a a DOJ memo released last month by Deputy Attorney General James Cole. According to that August 30 memo, the federal government "will respect" state marijuana laws, which advocates believe includes the legalization of industrial hemp production.
Sen. Paul intends "to be a part of correspondence with the Department of Justice," according to a spokesperson, and he "supports the work of the Hemp Commission and supports Commissioner Comer's efforts to move forward with the reintroduction of industrial hemp in Kentucky."
By Grant Butler, The Oregonian
Photo by Stephanie Yao/The Oregonian
At the digital kitchen table, today's hot topics include hemp seeds, which pack a ton of nutrition in a tiny package, plus more evidence that eating more fruits and vegetables fights diabetes.
Hemp seeds -- the other "superfood": We spend a lot of time in Foodday talking about "superfoods," those nutrient-dense foods that are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities that help fight everything from inflammation to cancer. While kale, lentils and quinoa have had plenty of attention, Dreena Burton shines a light on hemp seeds in her new blog Plant-Powered Foods. Before launching into predictable jokes about Grateful Dead concerts and tie-dyed t-shirts, listen to what she says about what hemp seeds deliver: "Complete protein, essential fatty acids, chlorophyll, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals, an almost perfect balance of the essential fatty acids!"
I've been tossing them on salads and soups for several years, and I like the faintly nutty flavor they deliver. She's got other ideas that never dawned on me:
* Stir into non-dairy yogurt
* Add to cold cereals and granola
* Stir into warm oatmeal
* Add to batters for pancakes, muffins, quick breads and cookies
* Blend into shakes and smoothies
In Oregon, you can find hemp seeds at Whole Foods Markets, New Seasons Market, many food coops and health food stores.
By Angela Brown, Portage la Prairie News
Hemp Oil Canada Inc., which is based in Manitoba, announced this week that it is the first in the world to gain international food safety accreditation for hemp food.
"This is good news for Hemp Oil Canada and the hemp industry as a whole," said Alphonsus Utioh, product development manager with Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie, "because it would allow this company to be able to access more markets for companies that require hemp suppliers with this accreditation."
The FDC makes a number of hemp products itself and encourages the promotion for the hemp industry.
"The Food Development Centre has worked with the hemp industry for quite some time now," said Utioh. "We have worked with the industry to produce the various products."
The Food Development Centre is currently using hemp product in the development of muesli cereal mix, which will be coming out into the market sometime in the future.
As well, the FDC has been using hemp for the development of its nutrition bars.
"Hemp is known for its Omega-3 and Omega-6 — for the Essential Fatty Acids," said Utioh. "The hemp protein also has high digestibility value."
Utioh explained with Hemp Oil Canada receiving International food safety accreditation it will encourage more companies to develop product with hemp.
Rich in Omega’s, hemp nuts are vital for a healthy brain and nervous system.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Hempseed's are a plentiful source of dietary fiber, calcium and iron. Whole hempseeds are also a good source of beta-carotene, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese. Hempseed is usually very safe for those unable to digest nuts, gluten, and lactose. Hemp milk contains 10 essential amino acids, making it a good vegetarian source of protein.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, "Hemp seeds have a rich, nutty flavor, something like sunflower seeds. Hemp milk is made by pulverizing the seeds, blending them with water and straining out the solid residue. The resulting "milk" provides both omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids in a healthy three-to-one ratio."
Weil has also stated "As a physician, I recommend nutritious hemp seeds and oil to anyone interested in maintaining a healthy diet." He believes everyone will benefit when American farmers can grow this amazing crop once again.
More people are choosing this balanced food source despite legal potshots
By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune
Hemp, its advocates say, is nature's perfect food source.
It has omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, contains 33 percent protein, is a good source of vitamin E and is low in saturated fat. It's an environmentally friendly crop that grows fast and requires few pesticides.
We can't farm it
Hemp is also a controversial food source because of its relationship with its naughty cousin, marijuana. Hemp seeds can contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
While it is legal to import, sell, purchase and consume industrial hemp in the U.S., it is illegal to grow it without a permit from the Drug Enforcement Administration, and it is virtually impossible to get such a permit. The policy stems from the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, when all varieties of cannabis were put into the category of schedule 1 drugs, alongside the likes of heroin.
The DEA tried to ban hemp food consumption in 2001, citing THC concerns. The ban was struck down in court.
But we can use it
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
With more traditional grocers starting to open up to the idea of food made from hemp, Living Harvest Foods Inc. is looking ahead to a year of growth, poised to launch a new ice cream product and start selling products in Safeway aisles this spring.
The 10-employee Portland company, which sells milk, ice cream and nutritional products made from hemp seeds, raised $800,000 from existing investors last year and plans to use it to support its growth to reach profitability.
Hans Fastre, Living Harvest CEO, said that sales in 2010 were essentially flat at about $6 million after several years of strong growth.
"It was okay," Fastre said. "We see it starting to rebound across the whole industry. Whole Foods is reporting better numbers and we usually follow them pretty closely."
Fastre said Living Harvest is starting to get more interest from mainstream supermarkets. He expects Living Harvest products to debut in Safeway in March.
The oldest known food catering establishments dated as far back as the Song Dynasty (960-1279) whose paper money economy and healthy middle class allowed them to cater to the residents who lived there as well as travelers. All other examples of eating establishments came in the form of Inns and catered to the weary traveler. Though located in busy areas, the local residents were not patrons of these establishments.
By Stephanie Bishop, Hemp News Correspondent
The word Restaurant comes from the French Word Restaurur meaning "a food which restores". The first restaurants emerging in Europe, specifically France, Spain and England in the 16th and 17th centuries served food family style or as buffets bringing people together to share a common meal. Waiters did not begin carrying around platters of food as a part of service until the beginning of the 18th century around the same time patrons began choosing items from a menu.
By By Jacqueline Street, ABC News
Australians may have consumed a lot of food over the Christmas weekend but it is unlikely many thought about eating hemp.
Products like hemp chocolate and hemp ice cream are available in other countries but are banned in Australia.
Now a group of Tasmanian farmers is renewing a push to overturn the ban.
They say industrial hemp will not make you high and has many health benefits.
Phil Reader, who has been growing industrial hemp in northern Tasmania for five years, says the plant's similarity to cannabis ends at the leaves.
"There's absolutely no drug in it; it's below 0.35 per cent THC, so it cannot be confused with marijuana," he said.
Mr Reader says Tasmania has the ideal climate for growing hemp seeds, but his crop is tightly controlled because under state law hemp is classified as a poison.
"The reason it hasn't taken off is the legislation. In Tasmania we come under the Poisons Act," he said.
"It's not a poison; there's no reason for that to be called a poison."
Mr Reader says industrial hemp is not regarded as a drug crop anywhere else in the world.
"It's only in Tasmania that we have this problem and that means a whole host of issues with regards to licensing, administration and where we can sell the crop," he said.
Hobart hemp producer Brandt Teale says he is frustrated because he believes hemp could be a profitable food product in Tasmania and other states.
Fast-Growing Canadian Company is Vigorously Expanding into New Markets
Winnipeg, Manitoba – Hemp foods are one of the hottest health food trends in North America, and a fast-growing Canadian company is demonstrating that there is a healthy appetite for nutritious hemp foods overseas, too. Due to a vigorous international sales initiative over the past few years by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils (www.manitobaharvest.com), exports of their hemp foods beyond North America have skyrocketed more than 500% over the past year. So far in 2009, the company has exported products to eight nations (in addition to the United States) including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland and Japan.
Now that medical researchers, nutrition experts and chefs in the U.S. and Canada are demonstrating that hemp is a nutritious and eco-friendly superfood with vast culinary applications, the company is using this backing and their eleven years of experience educating consumers to cultivate interest in markets around the globe. Their success has not happened by chance. Manitoba Harvest employees have been busy traveling overseas to research market opportunities and to meet with retailers, food manufacturers, distributors and consumers.
Video showing Farm Aid's press event from the 2009 concert in Maryland Heights, Missouri on October 4, 2009.
Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, and Rhonda Perry (of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center) all talk about Farm Aid's actions in the past and the current hope for positive change to keep family farmers on their land.
Neil Young & Willie Nelson - Home Grown Farm Aid 2009
Researchers with the University of Manitoba are confident the nutritional benefits of hemp seed in human food products can be effectively applied to livestock rations, reports Bruce Cochrane for Farmscape Canada.
Hemp products are not currently approved for use in any class of livestock diet but hemp-based products are widely used in human nutrition.
To generate data to support the registration of hemp products in livestock rations researchers are evaluating the safety and effectiveness of hemp seed as a feed ingredient in poultry diets.
Dr Jim House, the head of the University of Manitoba's Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, says studies have shown hemp protein to be highly digestible and that should carry over to most major classes of livestock.
Clip-Dr. Jim House-University of Manitoba: http://www.farmscape.com/2009/10/FS102709.mp3
“Right now we're looking at three different classes of hemp products, the hemp seed, the hemp oil and the hemp meal or the protein concentrate,” House said at Farmscape.
“We're looking at doing production trials in both laying hens and in broiler chickens and generating data on performance, on any issues related to health indices and we're also going to be collecting data on the quality of the eggs and on the meats of the broiler chickens.”
By Eric Stan
Many people would dismiss arthritis as a simple and natural process of aging when in fact it is not. It is a crippling disease; slow yet debilitating. Arthritis has many forms and accompanying painful symptoms. Somehow, in the advent of modern-day technology and medical breakthroughs, we look for an organic alternative way of battling arthritis knowing that it is safer and economical yet effective.
Arthritis simply means inflammation of the joints. We have a variety of joints in our body and this condition pertains to the swelling and pain that occurs in the affected area of someone inflicted with it.
What happens to the affected area is coined as “cartilage and bone gravel.” Due to the overstretching of muscles which cause damage to the joints, what is left of the bones as well as the cartilage, would forcefully rub against each other which causes throbbing pain as well as worsening the damage of the affected joints. This continues to happen over and over again; it becomes a painful cycle and it gets worse over time.
Although it seems to be a dead end, there are lots of alternative natural treatment options available and there is one that will suit your criteria perfectly.
Every man-made fiber we wear, sit on, cook with, drive in, are by-products of the petroleum industry -- all of which could be replaced by hemp.
By Dara Colwell, AlterNet
As the recession renews interest in the growing hemp marketplace as a potential boon for the green economy -- even Fox Business News has touted it -- hemp is becoming impossible to ignore.
But the plant's potential extends far beyond consumer-generated greenbacks. A low-input, low-impact crop, industrial hemp can play a significant role in our desperate shuffle to avoid catastrophic climate change.
"In terms of sustainability, there are numerous reasons to grow hemp," says Patrick Goggin, a board member on the California Council for Vote Hemp, the nation's leading industrial-hemp advocacy group.
Goggin launches into its environmental benefits: Hemp requires no pesticides; it has deep digging roots that detoxify the soil, making it an ideal rotation crop -- in fact, hemp is so good at bioremediation, or extracting heavy metals from contaminated soil, it's being grown near Chernobyl.
Hemp is also an excellent source of biomass, or renewable, carbon-neutral energy, and its cellulose level, roughly three times that of wood, can be used for paper to avoid cutting down trees, an important line of defense against global warming.
French Meadow Bakery™ has introduced two new tortillas to its lineup: Hemp Tortilla and Organic Wheat and Sprouted Grain.
Both tortillas feature sprouted living grains for greater health. Sprouting grains before the baking produces living nutrient-rich food. Research suggests the sprouting process increases vitamin content and it neutralizes grains through enzymatic activity. This process breaks down amino acid proteins which aids in greater digestibility.
The Hemp Tortillas are loaded with hempseed, flaxseed and organic pumpkin seeds. They are high in whole grain fiber and protein as well as offer a rich source of omega 3 and 6. Additionally, the tortillas are yeast-free, high in protein and fiber, vegan, and have no added oils or sweeteners. The Suggested Retail Price range for the Hemp Tortilla is $4.32-$4.80; and Organic Wheat and Sprouted Grain Tortilla is $3.42-$3.80. The new 7-inch tortillas join the existing Fat Flush Tortillas, sold in 6-inch and 10-inch sizes.
Elizabeth Naffziger, Marketing Manager at French Meadow Bakery, said the new tortillas are a great example of the company’s passion and drive to constantly be inventive.
“Every product we make is made with a specific purpose…keeping our customers’unique tastes and needs in mind,” she noted.
Please visit www.frenchmeadow.com or call (877) 669-3278.