While it isn't found in many kitchen pantries, hemp has been cultivated as food for more than 5, 000 years. Like soy, it is a staple in Asian diets.
A 100-gram serving of hempseed oil contains more than 36 grams of essential fatty acids (EFAs), one of the highest amounts found in any food, even beating out flaxseed oil. While fish oils are a good source of omega-3s, hempseed oil contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which help promote good health.
Hempseed is also 31 percent protein, making it second only to the soybean as a plant protein source.
But wait a moment - is hemp legal? Perfectly it seems, although it is illegal for U.S. farmers to grow it without a permit.
Today you can find hemp as shelled hempseed, in nut butters, cooking oils, cereals, pretzels, cookies, chocolate, even cheese and burger alternatives. Eating raw or roasted hemp seed in China is as common as eating sunflower seeds or peanuts in North America.
To most people, hemp tastes like a cross between a sunflower seed and pine nut, to others it tastes similar to a macadamia nut. For more information on hemp visit the Hemp Food Association website at www.hemptech.com
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