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Eating Hemp, Growing Hemp and Buying Hemp Foods!
What is hemp? How do I consume hemp seeds? What do I do with hemp oil? Hemp is a cannabis plant species. Unlike other strains of cannabis, hemp has low concentrations of THC (the psychoactive chemical) which means its effects are minimal.
Instead what you have is nutritious hemp seeds, oil, protein powder and flour. The seeds can be enjoyed raw, sprouted, ground as flour or blended to make hemp milk. Along with the protein powder, they’re a nutritious addition sprinkled over your morning muesli, mixed into smoothies, or on yoghurt. Hemp oil is loved for its subtle nutty flavour, particularly drizzled over salads.
Edible hemp is now legal in Australia
After many years of debate, recent changes to the Food Standards Code mean that it is now legal to sell, buy and eat hemp seed foods in Australia. These changes came into effect on 12 November 2017.
Although you may have seen hemp products in Australia before, these were previously not for human consumption but rather for external, industrial, clothing or pet food purposes only. Hemp has already been approved for food in the UK, the United States, Canada and many other countries within Europe, but for many Australian growers it has been a long wait.
Importing hemp seeds
However, biosecurity and import regulations have also changed so that any whole hemp seeds imported into Australia will now need to be “denatured” or technically “dead” so that there is no possibility of germination.
Previously the whole seed did not need to be treated if it wasn’t going to be used for growing (ie. if it was only going to be processed or dehulled in Australia for industrial purposes), but now the law states that for an importer/processor to bring seed into Australia it must be treated or be technically dead so that it cannot germinate.
These new requirements will have detrimental effects on hemp products which are produced or manufactured in Australia using imported seeds. So beware of products that are misleadingly labelled ‘made in Australia’ or ‘produced in Australia’ as this does not necessarily mean the seeds are grown in Australia.
At Santos Organics we are hoping to moving to only source certified organic hemp seed products where the hemp is actually grown in Australia. Unfortunately, certified organic hemp seeds are currently not available in Australia and we are sourcing certified organic hemp seeds and hemp products from Canada and China, depending on availability. Stay tuned to our social media for any changes to this.
Why hemp? Is hemp sustainable? How is hemp grown?
Growing hemp has a low environmental impact compared to many other grain and seed crops. Very few producers, if any, use pesticides or synthetic chemicals while the crops also require less water; meaning it’s better for you and the environment.
Being highly nutritious and gluten free makes hemp a great option for those in need of gluten-free alternatives. Hemp also ticks nutritional boxes, including being packed with essential omega -3 and -6 fatty acids, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It’s also low in sugar, carbohydrates and saturated fat.