Most people are going to be wary of anything called a superfood, and for good reason. Basing a diet or lifestyle around one substance alone is rarely a wise move. However, there are some foods that are so versatile and so valuable that they have a place in just about every diet.
Hemp is becoming increasingly considered a prime candidate as one of those superfoods. However, hemp does a lot more than most foods. Hemp sustains products and industries entirely outside the food industry. Here, we’re going to look at what hemp can do, as a food and otherwise, to see why so many people are getting obsessed with it.
How healthy are edible hemp products?
Most edible products using hemp are, in fact, using hemp seeds. There is an increasing range of hemp products available on the market, including hemp protein powder, hemp oil, and even whole hemp seeds that you can eat as they are. Here are some of the scientifically backed benefits of them:
Research into hemp has been held back for years, but now we’re beginning to discover a lot more about it. So far, all the signs are that hemp is, indeed, very healthy for you.
Hemp in clothing
Hemp is a durable, long-lasting, and environmentally sustainable fabric. For that reason, it’s popular amongst many as a fabric to be used in clothing, for bags, and other uses. Furthermore, it’s not rough as you might expect from hemp rope, but has a soft feel thanks to its strong fibers. Not all hemp clothing is grown free of chemicals, so it’s not always the most environmentally conscientious choice, but it certainly can be if you get it from the right manufacturers.
Hemp has been grown for industrial purposes for millenia, and is known to be one of the first plants ever spun into a usable fiber. One of the earliest uses of that fiber is hemp paper. Hemp can be pulped just like tree fiber to produce paper. However, the longer fiber means a better tear resistance, and it works as a regular writing paper, filter paper, and has even been used in bank notes. Given that hemp is much easier to regrow than trees are, it’s not as costly to the environment to make it, either.
One range of products that is still being worked over is hemp as a component of biodegradable plastics. The strength of the fibers offers a lot of potential when it comes to longevity and resilience. Right now, cellulose is being extracted from the hemp plant in order to help make plastics such as cellophane and celluloid. As the science behind the production of hemp plastics continues to grow, it may be the plastics made entirely of hemp will come to be.
Many are focused on finding a more sustainable and less harmful replacement for fossil fuels, and hemp biofuel is considered the solution of the future, by many. Right now, it’s being used in products like bio-diesel, with the petroleum industry relying on it more and more heavily. However, hemp biofuel may very well turn out to be the alternative to fossil fuels that we will eventually need.
Hemp products may even have a place on the construction site. Hempcrete is a material made from mixing hemp hurds with lime, and is used in both construction and insulation projects. Hempcrete does show a few benefits over traditional concrete, such as the fact that it’s easier to work with and less brittle. It’s not yet the builder’s first choice, but further developments may eventually mean we see a lot more buildings made of hemp.
Is hemp environmentally friendly?
Hemp products are not guaranteed to be eco-friendly. As with any plant, hemp can be grown using chemical fertilizers, weedkillers, and pesticides that can run-off into nearby sources of freshwater, polluting them. However, hemp is providing a biodegradable and efficiently produced alternative to many of the materials that are doing serious damage to the earth. It’s a more eco-friendly option when it comes to plastic, to paper, and fuel. As we learn more about how we can apply it, it may become increasingly important to the effort to save the earth.
Is the hemp hype worth it?
Simply put, yes. You don’t have to accept every claim about hemp, but even if you only accept what has been scientifically tested and proven multiple times, hemp is still an incredibly impressive plant. The health benefits of including it in your diet, its eco-friendly production, and its wide range of uses in clothing and manufacture all make it clear that hemp is one of the most under-utilized materials around, and one that we will hopefully be seeing a lot more of in the future.
Comments will be approved before showing up.