Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tempt Me!

How crazy is it that industrial hemp farming is still illegal in the United States? Given that the Declaration of Independence was drafted on hemp paper and hemp cultivation was mandatory in many of our country's first colonies, how is it even possible that such a sustainable, versatile, useful crop could ever be outlawed?

Industrial hemp's history can be traced as far back as 8000 BC when hemp agriculture and textile industries began in Europe and Asia. The uses for hemp are innumerable: from food, to fiber, to paper, to fuel ... What a tragic irony that tobacco farming is legal in the U.S. while hemp cannot be grown by American farmers under current federal law. Hemp contributes to the health and well-being of people and the planet, while tobacco contributes only to illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke in the U.S. So why aren't we converting tobacco plantations into eco-friendly hemp plantations? Australia began licensing of hemp farms in 1992, and Canada legalized the commercial growth of industrial hemp in 1998. Wake up, America!

Oh, but wait ... we are beginning to wake up, at least, state by state. Just one year ago, Oregon joined several other states when Governor Kulongoski signed a bill into law giving Oregon farmers the right to grow industrial hemp. And here in Oregon, a growing number of companies manufacture hemp products—among them are The Merry Hempsters, Trust Hemp Cooperation, and Living Harvest Foods.

Several years ago I wrote an article for called "Hemp is Good for You," which featured a few of my favorite foods made from what many consider "nature's perfect food." Since then, Living Harvest has come out with a line of milk beverages and ice cream made from hemp that have become increasingly popular. (The Chocolate Fudge and Coconut Lime ice creams are delicious.) They also make hemp oil and have introduced a new line of hemp protein powders.

One serving of Tempt Hemp Protein contains:
135 calories
3 g fat
22 g protein
All 10 essential amino acids
It's a rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

Living Harvest has succeeded in keeping their protein powder from tasting oily or hempy. But it did have a distinctively hemp-like smell when I added it to my morning smoothie, so I threw in a splash of vanilla extract, which masked it completely. If only I'd known they also make a Vanilla Spice protein powder. I'll bet it's terrific!

Tempt Hemp Protein added a nice creamy flavor to my smoothie and infused it with a beautifully rich, vibrant color. It was an energizingly tasty way to start the day!

Morning Protein Power Boost Smoothie

1 cup water (I like Taste Nirvana's Real Coconut Water)
2 very ripe bananas
1 medjool date
1/2 cup frozen fruit of choice (I used raspberries in the smoothie pictured above)
4 Tbs Tempt Hemp Protein Powder
Splash of vanilla extract

Blend all together and enjoy!


Rikki Cupcake said...

yum! i haven't seen this before but i will keep my eye out for it. i love their ice cream

Anonymous said...

I love hemp! Vanilla Spice sounds wonderful. Will be on the lookout for it!

Jerry said...

Sounds good!

Anonymous said...

You gotta love a company that makes hemp protein so accessible to the masses. I share your dream of tobacco plantations turning into industrial hemp farms.

Anonymous said...

Vanilla spice hemp protein powder? I'm all over that! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Gotta try this, thanks!

Alex said...

I was looking for a protein powder to replace the whey protein I was using before I became vegan. Someone had suggested rice protein to me, but this sounds even better. Thanks!

Helen said...

Ooh, must try! I really like The Merry Hempsters Hemp Balm, too.

Graygrrrl said...

I've always wondered about Hemp milk, etc. Thanks for the post!

Shanthi said...