Sebastopol, CA- An increasing number of studies and media stories have focused on the benefits of consuming foods rich in Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). These Omega-3 foods, including walnuts, fish, and the seeds of flax and hemp, contribute to healthy brain, heart, skin and hormonal functions.
To meet the growing demand for Omega-3 foods, Nutiva, the leading hemp foods brand in the United States, is introducing bulk shelled hempseed in five- pound vacuum-sealed bags. Shelled hempseed is comprised of 45% “good fats” in an ideal balance of Omega-3 Alpha-Linolenic Acid, Omega-6 Linoleic Acid, “Super” Omega-3 Stearidonic Acid, and “Super” Omega-6 Gamma Linolenic Acid. It is also rich in vitamin E and iron, and contains 33% protein.
Consumer interest in hempseed is growing. “Over the past six months, sales of our 12-ounce tins of shelled hempseed have increased by 50 percent,” says Roulac. Nutiva customers can now save 40 percent by buying in bulk. Besides being sold in the refrigerated sections of natural food stores, bulk seeds are being used in juice bars for making hemp milkshakes (see recipes below) and by the food service industry for making cookies, muffins, salads, and grain dishes.
“Proper handling of hemp foods is critical for protecting the quality of the fatty acids,” notes Nutiva founder and president John W. Roulac. Nutiva accomplishes this by exclusively sourcing Canadian hempseed, vacuum packing the bulk seed to remove oxygen, and storing the seed in temperature-controlled warehouses. “Our bulk product is a vast improvement over the existing undated bulk hempseeds from Europe, which have turned off customers due to freshness issues,” he adds.
A shelled hempseed looks like a sesame seed and has a delicious nutty flavor similar to that of a pine nut or sunflower seed. Although hempseed was unknown to the public as little as three years ago, Nutiva’s 100% raw seeds are now added to cereal, yogurt, omelets, pasta, salads, cookies, and smoothies by tens of thousands of Americans. Many natural food companies add shelled hempseeds to such products as Nutiva’s whole food bars, French Meadow Bakery’s bread, and Nature’s Path’s hemp waffles and cereal.
The recent mercury contamination study published in Environmental Health Perspectives points out many health concerns due to the occurrence of dangerous mercury concentrations in human blood associated with fish consumption. Given such associated health risks, people are now seeking out high-quality plant-based fats as a healthy alternative to fish. In the definitive book on good fats, Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, author Udo Erasmus states, “The best-balanced source of EFAs is hemp seed oil. ”
Think for a moment of the popular soybean and the flaxseed craze, then imagine a great-tasting gourmet seed that is easier to digest than soy and with an ideal EFA balance when compared to flax. In a January 13, 2003, Time magazine article, the renowned Dr. Andrew Weil mentioned hemp and flax seeds as rich sources of Omega-3 for improving brain function.
Nutiva is among the industry leaders that sued the federal DEA in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in October of 2001 about unreasonable proposed hemp rules. The court issued a stay in March 2002, blocking the agency from enforcing the rules. A favorable decision by the Court is expected later in 2003. “Hemp is a health-promoting, non-drug, earth-friendly crop for food and fiber that can help create new jobs and add to farmers’ income,” says Roulac. “It also has roots back to George Washington. As a matter of fact, the first G. W. grew hemp in his back yard, and the father of our current president safely jumped out of his World War II plane with a parachute made of American-grown hemp cloth and twine,” he adds.
Nutiva – Nourishing People and Planet
Nutiva demonstrates its mission to nourish people and planet by using healthy organic ingredients, enriching the soil and supporting just and sustainable causes. Nutiva donates 1% of sales to groups that promote sustainable agriculture. Founded in 1999, Nutiva offers nutritious organic hemp and flax food bars, hemp oil and oil capsules, and shelled hempseed nationwide at more than 1,400 natural food retailers, including Whole Foods Markets and Wild Oats. For more information, contact us at (800) 993-4367, Nutiva, P. O. Box 1716, Sebastopol, CA 95473.