Washington, DC — New market research obtained by Vote Hemp confirms that in the year since the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) successfully beat the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) attempt to ban nutritious hemp foods, sales of hemp foods have increased by at least 47% overall. The sales data was collected by the market research firm SPINS but under-represents actual sales due to the niche status of hemp foods. Nevertheless, the SPINS report shows that hemp food sales grew by at least $1.47 million to a total of $4.57 million from July 2004 to July 2005.
“Removing the cloud the DEA put on the hemp food marketplace spurred a surge in the supply and consumption of healthy omega-3-rich hemp seed in America,” says David Bronner, Chair of the HIA’s Food and Oil Committee and President of Alpsnack/Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. “By protecting the U.S. market for hemp foods we’ve experienced strong growth.”
“Walk into any health food store and you’ll find an increasing variety of hemp foods,” says Alexis Baden-Mayer, Director of Government Affairs for Vote Hemp. “Americans are looking for healthy alternative sources of omega-3 to supplement their diets due to concerns regarding trace mercury in fish and fish oil supplements. Right now the U.S. marketplace is supplied by hemp seed grown and processed in Canada and Europe, but some members of Congress want to bring hemp farming back to the U.S. The increase in hemp food sales will only help our view that U.S. farmers should be able to supply the surging demand.”
At a Capitol Hill lunch on June 23 to mark the introduction of H.R. 3037, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2005, about 100 Congressional staff feasted on Bahama Hempnut Crusted Wild Salmon and Fuji Fennel Hempseed Salad. The five-course gourmet hemp meal was prepared by Executive Chef Denis Cicero of the New York City-based Galaxy Global Eatery.
Hemp Foods are Safe and Nutritious
Hemp seed is one of the most perfect nutritional resources in all of nature. In addition to its excellent flavor profile, the seed meat protein supplies all essential amino acids in an easily digestible form and with a high protein efficiency ratio. But most importantly, hemp seed and oil offer high concentrations of the two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in a perfect ratio of the omega-3/omega-6 acids. EFA’s are the ‘good fats’ that doctors recommend as part of a healthy, balanced diet. This superior nutritional profile makes hemp nut (shelled seed) and oil ideal for a wide range of functional food applications and as an effective fatty acid supplement. Not surprisingly, hemp nut and oil are increasingly used in natural food products, such as breads, frozen waffles, cereals, nutrition bars, meatless burgers and salad dressings.
Eating Hemp Food Does Not Interfere with Workplace Drug-Tests
U.S. hemp food companies voluntarily observe reasonable THC limits similar to those adopted by European nations and Canada. These limits protect consumers with a wide margin of safety from workplace drug-testing interference (see hemp industry standards regarding trace THC at http://www.testpledge.com). The DEA has hypocritically not targeted food manufacturers for using poppy seeds (in bagels and muffins, for example) even though they contain far higher levels of trace opiates. The recently revived global hemp market is a thriving commercial success. Unfortunately, because of their paranoia DEA has confused non-psychoactive industrial hemp varieties of cannabis with psychoactive varieties, and thus the U.S. is the only major industrialized nation to prohibit the growing of industrial hemp.
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