I had the pleasure of sitting in on a profound discussion on Nutrition (more apt description would be Human Nourishment) by renowned alternative Physician Lakshmi Prasanna. As she moved through her presentation she constantly painted ‘the big picture’ of our human interaction with food and the far larger implication it has in relation to our ‘human’ and ‘spiritual’ health.
Her insights embraced the smaller and larger worlds of consciousness and what it truly means to be connected in both an inner and an outer sense. What I really liked most about her discussion was her ability to elucidate the deeper teachings of Rudolf Steiner, and in this case his lectures of human nutrition and make it digestible (pun intended) for the real world today.
I have found that for the most part Steiner evangelicals lose me during their introductions and I end up sitting in a room full of nodding people while I scratch my head and fidget uncomfortably. I totally accept that this is because of a lack of base intelligence on my part. (I am extremely under educated!) But this discussion really resonated with me and felt very accessible both in her approach to the subject and her interpretation of Steiner’s hallowed words.
The reason I highlight this great discussion is actually for the one thing that wasn’t mentioned.
Lakshmi asked the sizeable crowd that attended what they thought would be some good alternatives (gluten free I presume?) for someone looking for high quality ‘protein’ grain options. The one option given by a member of the group, that seemed to elicit the biggest tick of approval, was Chick Pea flour. That lead me to wonder how our Hemp might stack up nutritionally against this other ‘alternative’ option and my research was surprising.
Below is a quick overview and please follow the links for more information:
100g Serve Hemp Flour
Energy 2451 KJ
100g Serve Chick Pea Flour
Omega 3 ?
Omega 6 ?
For a much more details analysis you can follow these great links to NutritionValue.Org:
Now I have to admit, I have never tried Chick Pea flour but I do eat Chick Peas by the truck load and I love them. As the incidents of 'intolerances' seems to be escalating and people are looking for alternatives to supplement or even change personal diets, I find it strange how Hemp is so often over looked or not even in consideration.
Dr Lakshmi also gave further incite to the importance of Amino Acids and this is perhaps one area that Hemp seems to really come into its own. Containing the most complete list of plant based Amino Acids that are also in an easily digestible form.
Hemps ratio of Omega 3 to 6 is also worthy of consideration. A 100g serve contains 1000mg of Omega 3 and 2500mg of Omega 6. The importance of these essential nutrients to Human health is well documented. Perhaps, for me one of the biggest 'Pro' points for Hemp as a food is also the fact the it is simply such a robust plant and that given even marginal conditions can grow voraciously.
I type this as I look down from my office window in our converted Barn House Shed and onto one of our Hemp fields. Its dark green colour stands in contrast to the beige grasses that surround it. The reality is that when we look to these 'alternative' food products that the 'Safety' issue must be a real consideration. I always say to people when selling Tea that I don't see a lot of point purchasing a 'Health' product that has been grown with the use of Herbicides and Pesticides, as it would seem desperately counterproductive? (and obviously worthy of its own Blog post!) The fact Hemp require little to no 'chemical' regime to grow vigorously and still offer high yields is a huge plus point in my opinion.
So in conclusion, let’s put Hemp on the menu. Ridiculous Federal legislation banning Hemp as a food product is simply beyond comprehension and highlights the lack of simple 'intelligence' that plagues our Government institutions.
'Ministers were concerned that the availability of hemp seed foods may send a confused message to consumers about the acceptability and safety of illicit cannabis and pose problems for drug enforcement agencies.'..... Wow...Really?
Taking Hemp and all of its benefits out of the national narrative in nutritional discussions further denies our opportunity to take advantage of this amazing humble plant.
Hemp Risotto anyone?