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Hemp to be legalised as a food in Australia

ONE of the most controversial meal ingredients is about to be legalised as a food in Australia.

The Australian government will legalise the consumption of hemp on November 12, joining a growing global industry.

This is the culmination of a 16-year effort to have hemp approved for human consumption in Australia.

Hemp Foods Australia CEO, Paul Benhaim, said hemp has many health benefits and is acknowledged by Food Standards Australia New Zealand as a highly nutritious food.

"Unlike corn, cotton, soy, wheat and rice, hemp uses a lot less water and doesn't require pesticides or herbicides," Mr Benhaim said.

"It also yields food that is more nutritious than all these others combined and isn't plagued by their allergies.

"Hemp also removes more CO2 from the air than trees do and is highly pest, weed and drought resistant."

He said hemp is also one of the most versatile of crops and has a wide variety of uses in fibre, fabrics, building materials, paper and bio plastics.

To be clear, hemp foods sold in Australia contain no or are low enough in THC (the hallucinogenic substance found in marijuana), so you won't get high from consumption or test positive on a drug test.

Health Benefits:

  • Nutritious, whole protein, containing all 21 essential amino acids.
  • Whole hemp seeds contain more than 30% healthy fats and are exceptionally rich in Omega 3, essential for brain function, growth and development. A diet rich in Omega 3 has also been shown to contribute to reducing inflammation, heart disease, blood pressure and depression.
  • High amounts of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc
  • High amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre, which may benefit digestive health
  • Contains more protein than both chia seeds and flaxseeds
  • Hemp seed oil has been used as a food/ medicine in China for over 3000 years

The hemp plant can be consumed as a seed, oil, flour or protein powder.

It can be used to bake, can be added to a smoothie, salad or meal ingredient.

The seed is fully digestible, and can be consumed directly without heating or soaking.

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