Hemp is a healthy and sustainable food source that can nurture both the human population and the environment. Those are the take home messages about why hemp seed is great to eat.
At Vasse Valley we are passionate about growing hemp for its wonderful hemp seeds.
Located in the beautiful Margaret River wine region, we started growing hemp in 2015 and have since developed our famous Vasse Valley Roasted Hemp Seed Crumble and other healthy hemp seed products.
Our vision is to bring you locally grown and manufactured hemp foods to ensure Australians are eating Australian grown hemp seed.
We aim to provide our customers with a unique, healthy and home-grown product to keep you fully charged and knowing that you are supporting local farmers and businesses.
Why we love hemp
Hemp was first spun into fibre over 10,000 years ago, making it one of our oldest agricultural crops! It has over 25,000 different uses including paper, housing, plastic, food, medicine, clothing and biofuels. Hemp grows incredibly quickly, making it a great substitute for tree-based products. It is also great for our planet as it captures carbon and removes soil toxins. Plastics made from hemp are 100% biodegradable and hemp paper and housing are totally renewable and drastically reduce our dependence on timber, saving our forests. Hemp seed alone is an incredibly versatile product. From the nutrition perspective it is hemp health benefits are far reaching, meaning hemp seed should be a staple in everybody’s pantry.
Why hemp Seed is great to eat
Technically a nut, hemp seed ticks so many boxes in the nutrition space! With today’s escalating food intolerances, hemp is a great alternative to peanuts and other nuts. Hemp seeds are gluten-free and suitable for vegans. They are a fantastic source of plant-based protein and essential fatty acids for those on restricted diets. What’s more, hemp is a non-GMO crop and is easy to grow without the use of chemical sprays so is generally free of contaminants. So, hemp seed is safe, hemp seed is healthy and hemp seed is tasty. That is why hemp seed is great to eat!
Hemp seed health benefits
Besides tasting great, hemp seed is rich in nutrients we need to keep us healthy. In particular, hemp seed is well-known for being high in protein, essential fatty acids and fibre. It also provides a great source of vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc. Most hemp seed products extract the oil or seed husk but Vasse Valley’s famous roasted range gives you the complete set of nutritional benefits that only the whole seed can give.
Hemp seed PROTEIN is the best
Hemp seed is a great source of high quality plant-based protein. Hemp seed protein powder contains about 40% protein, which is more than meat. This protein is also highly digestible, meaning your body can absorb it easily, and is considered a complete protein source, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids. These are the amino acids that are not produced by the body and need to come from the diet. Complete sources of plant-based protein are uncommon, making hemp seed all the more valuable for vegetarians and vegans.
Hemp seed – rich in ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
Hemp seeds are a great source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids, which are the healthy fats! In total they contain about 30% fat with unique 3:1 ratio of omega-6 and omega-3. This is a perfect ratio for our nutritional requirements and promotes cardiovascular health and may benefit some skin diseases. Another essential fatty acid found in hemp seeds is Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This is a type of omega-6 fatty acid which can have a hormone regulatory effect which may relief symptoms of PMS.
Whole hemp seed is rich in FIBRE
Fibre is a necessary part of the diet as it helps your intestinal tract push out waste from the foods you consume. Because our products use the whole seed, they are high in fibre (about 35%), particularly insoluble fibre, which plays an important role in gut health. Fibre helps keep the digestive system regular and feeds the probiotics in your gut, helping to achieve a robust immune system. The crunch factor you get when eating our products is all that wonderful, insoluble fibre!
The many uses of hemp
Did you know that hemp has over 25,000 uses?! In fact, anything made from cotton, timber or petroleum can be made from hemp. The main uses are food, oil, textiles, paper, housing, fuel, body care and medicine. Unlike most agricultural crops, every part of the plant can be used.
Farming hemp in Western Australia
At Vasse Valley we have been growing hemp since 2015 and have learnt so much about this crop with every season. Hemp is a summer crop grown from October to April. If managed well the crop can be grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides. Hemp generally requires irrigation but it is hoped in future a seed variety will be found that will grow in dryland conditions, allowing it to be grown in drier areas across the state.
In November 2017 hemp seed was legalised for human consumption, opening up a new market and giving hope and momentum to invest in the industry. The interest in growing and manufacturing hemp has skyrocketed and we feel the time is right for the industry to thrive.
Currently, our major limitation is access to a suitable variety for our climate. With this and a wealth of other issues holding us back in 2017 we banded together with other farmers to play a key role in establishing HempGro, Australia’s first hemp co-operative. The formation of our co-op was driven by growers through the need for more knowledge, infrastructure, large scale investment and industry-wide collaboration. HempGro’s first activity is to bring in suitable seed varieties from Europe and make them available to WA growers. At Vasse Valley we are all about collaboration and our involvement with HempGro makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. We are out to make a difference to farming in Western Australia!
At Vasse Valley we aim to provide our customers with a healthy, unique and home grown product that is produced by local farmers and value added by local businesses.
If you’d like to learn more about farming hemp in Western Australia please visit our blog.