Hemp Food Approval Brings Eco-friendly Superfood to the Table
On November 12, Aussie health advocates will celebrate as hemp food products are officially permitted for sale and consumption in Australia.
In April 2017, national and state food minsters approved the sale and consumption of low- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp foods with the changes coming into effect on November 12, 2017.
Among the Australian's celebrating the change is Tracey Bailey, founder of Biome Eco Stores, who strongly support hemp consumption for its health and environmental benefits.
Ms Bailey said hemp as a consumable ingredient is commonly misconceived due to its close relations to marijuana, however industrial hemp grown to produce food and other hemp materials has much lower levels of the mind-altering chemical THC.
'When you look at hemp for its health and environmental qualities, it stands out among its counterparts," she said.
'Hemp as a food source contains various vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids.
'It contains all 10 essential amino acids plus 14 fatty acids, making it a complete protein and one of the best plant-based proteins for vegans."
Ms Bailey said it's not just the health-conscious Aussies celebrating - hemp has significant environmental benefits as well.
'Hemp is a quick growing plant that requires little water to produce," she said.
'It is naturally resistant to pests which means it doesn't require chemical pesticides or herbicides. Unlike cotton and flax which are less resistant and can adsorb up to 50 per cent of the pesticides sprayed on them."
For farmers, hemp can be used as a rotational crop between planting periods. Its thick foliage and dense growth averts sunlight on the soil helping to reduce weed growth. The plant helps to replenish nutrients and improve soil tilth, reduce salinity, and absorb toxic metals from the soil.
Ms Bailey said the production of hemp paper is more environmentally friendly then trees.
'Its quick growing nature means a crop of hemp can be grown in approximately four months opposed to trees which can take years, and can produce more paper per acre of crop while emitting vast amounts of oxygen – between 20 and 40 per cent," she said.
'At its end of life, hemp can be recycled, reused or composted as it's 100 per cent biodegradable.
'All round, hemp is a healthier product for people and the planet."
Biome Eco Stores sells a range of hemp food products. To view the range visit www.biome.com.au.