It’s no secret that we love hemp here at The Primal Pantry. Hemp protein is a core ingredient in our high protein bars and we source it right here in the UK from our friends at Braham & Murray, who also market and sell their own brand, Good Hemp.
We recently sat down and spoke with David Shaw, Managing Director at Good Hemp about the company’s beginnings. He shared his passion for hemp and provided the low-down on its many outstanding benefits. David has been at the helm of Good Hemp since November 2017, after taking over from the original founders.
WHAT IS HEMP PROTEIN?
It’s simple. Hemp is a high-quality plant-based protein derived from hemp seeds. It is packed full of natural nutrition and has a light, earthy flavour. These extraordinary seeds are used as a protein ingredient and also turned into food and drink.
WILL HEMP GET ME STONED IF I EAT IT?
Here’s a hemp fact: Hemp is not marijuana, as lots of people mistakenly believe. Both marijuana and hemp are varieties of the cannabis plant and whilst they look similar, they are actually different in a number of ways. Most importantly, whilst marijuana contains up to 30% of a psychoactive substance called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp contains virtually none (typically below 0.3%). This means that whilst marijuana will get you high, hemp will not.
HEMP DATES BACK TO 8000 BC. WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO START DEVELOPING IT?
Hemp has a long and exciting history: in ancient Asia, the plant was hailed as an elixir of life; King Henry VIII fined any farmer that didn’t use his land for growing hemp, whilst US president George Washington grew the crop on his plantation. Our own story begins back in 1998 when our founders – Henry Braham and Glynis Murray – were strolling through their farm in Devon. They had been growing hemp to produce natural fibres for years but had never stopped to try one of the seeds before. When they did, they were blown away by its flavour (a bit like a cross between a sunflower seed and a pine nut) and even more surprised to learn of its nutritional value. They set out on a mission to make hemp a kitchen staple across the world.
HOW DO YOU THINK HEMP COMPARES TO OTHER PROTEINS?
Put simply, hemp protein is great because it’s allergen free, easy to digest, vegan-friendly and contains all 20 amino acids, including the nine essential ones that our body cannot produce by itself. Soya protein is a popular protein but it’s often heavily processed which makes it unkind on the gut (see more details of soya versus hemp here). Meanwhile, whey is a by-product in the production of cheese, so is a no-go for vegans (read a head-to-head comparison here).
HEMP IS CONSIDERED A HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCT, WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Our commitment to quality has been unwavering since our founders first set out to develop a great tasting culinary oil from hemp seeds. We’re constantly innovating to deliver the best products possible. For example, our brand-new chilled milk, which launched recently contains a form of calcium called Aquamin, which comes from seaweed and has a really high nutritional value.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF HEMP?
- Hemp is packed full of Omega-3, which is great for brain, skin and heart health, and also provides an immune system boost.
- It is high in protein to aid cell repair and encourage healthy bones, muscles and blood.
- Hemp is a great source of fibre, to promote healthy digestion and help stave off heart disease and diabetes.
- It contains vitamin E for skin and nails, potassium for organ function and iron for healthy blood.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU THAT HEMP IS SO SUSTAINABLE?
It’s really important., We’re constantly reassessing our practices to make sure they’re as sustainable as possible. First off, the beauty of hemp is that nothing goes to waste. We, of course, use the seeds to make food. The fibres and stalks are used in a variety of ways including to make hemp clothing, building materials, paper, biofuel and plastic composites. The flowers and leaves are often used to make CBD oil, a form of alternative medicine used for treating the symptoms of conditions including depression and anxiety.
WHY DO YOU THINK HEMP IS GROWING IN POPULARITY?
Because awareness is growing. Although hemp’s been around for thousands of years, many people still don’t know much about the plant or how we turn it into food. Now that customers are increasingly interested in food that tastes good, has high nutritional value and is kind to the planet, we’re making a stir. And we couldn’t be more thrilled!