We absolutely love hemp! In fact, we believe in the potential of hemp so much that it was our founding product. Since then, we’ve grown an entire family of products that includes nutritious Hempseeds, Hemp Oil, Hemp Protein and Hemp Shakes. We’ve talked a lot about why hemp is such a nutritious plant, but did you know that it is also a very useful plant in many other industries?
Hemp’s versatility has many different industries singing its praises. Hemp is useful as a fuel and for making food products, fibers, paper, and building materials, just to name a few. Unfortunately, antiquated laws make growing this non-drug crop illegal in the USA, requiring hemp in all of its forms to be imported into the United States, when it could be giving many American farmers a bountiful crop that would provide many jobs in this tough economy. The benefits of this plant are numerous.
Hemp as a Food
Hemp is a true superfood. Hemp is a remarkable plant because its seeds supply the body with ample protein, fiber, and a perfect balance of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. It also contains vital minerals like magnesium, zinc and iron. Hemp is easy to add to your diet. You could add a tablespoon of hempseeds to your morning smoothie or you could use hemp oil as the base of a salad dressing.
The History of Hemp
Hemp’s known cultivation dates back to at least 5,000 but possibly up to 12,000 years. It is thought to be one of the oldest cultivated crops in human history. Hemp was cultivated as an abundant crop mainly because it was (and continues to be) incredibly diverse. It could be used as a fiber to make sails for ships, for textiles, cordage and other rope or strings, and as paper. Hemp is also an incredible building material, and produces 4 times more cellulose than trees. All of these amazing results are still 100% possible with hemp today.
Throughout history, countless people, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp in great abundance. It wasn’t until the 1930s that hemp became regulated as a drug. The illegalization of Hemp was a purely political move whose instigators have long since left us. Unfortunately the ban remains, though many organizations are working hard to reverse these bans. There is currently a revival to get hemp back in the hands of farmers and producers.
Hemp and the Auto Industry
Hemp’s history and connection to the American auto industry is a very close one. Did you know that Henry Ford (inventor of the Ford vehicle and Model-T car) and Rudolf Diesel (Inventor of the diesel engine) both intended for their vehicles to run on plant-based oils like hemp? Hemp was even one of a handful of plant fibers that made up the body of Henry Ford’s first plastic car, which Ford wanted to build to help American farmers. Today, hemp can be converted into a plastic to make vehicle parts and other plastic products. Hemp is also a truly renewable source of fuel, and it grows in great abundance without the need for pesticides and other chemicals. Unlike petroleum, hemp can also be grown easily without the fear of shortages and is biodegradable.
Interested in learning how you can help hemp? Check out our list of recommended reading that includes a book written by Nutiva’s founder John W. Roulac entitled Hemp Horizons: The Comeback of the World’s Most Promising Plant. You can also check out our suggestions on how you can help hemp here. Interested in getting the great benefits of hemp as a food product at a great price? Sign up for our Healthy Lifestyle newsletter below to get great deals on hemp and other superfoods right to your inbox.
What are your thoughts on hemp? What are your favorite uses for hemp? Share with us in the comment section below!