Vegetarian; Vegan ;Plant-Based; Flexitarian; Veggie Eye; Blog Post;
For many Vegans & Vegetarians this has been the best kept secret for generations but now we are seeing that the Plant-Based lifestyle trend is now truly mainstream for all, Veggie Eye are huge advocates of all things plant-based and we are especially huge fans of a wonderful products produced by Planet Hemp http://www.planethemp.ca/ https://www.boroughbox.com/planet-hemp so we really wanted to share this Q&A article with you all regarding the benefits of hemp protein, the questions were put to Tony Reeves, Managing Director, Hemp Co Europe Ltd, who is truly an expert and the go-to person in the industry for all things hemp protein based.
How did Planet Hemp start?
PlanetHemp is the retail brand of Hempco Canada.
Hempco Canada was established by the Holmes family 15 years ago; effectively facilitating the Canadian hemp seed industry. They have been key innovators in terms of process and product, creating many ‘world first’ concepts including cold-pressed hemp seed oil, hemp protein powder, protein concentrate, hemp milk, yoghurt and ice cream and even a biodiesel lubricant named Hemphuel. Having established a strong position as an international supplier of high quality bulk hemp products (seed, oil, protein powders), the next step was to create a retail brand ‘PlanetHemp’ and develop a range of hemp based ingredients and added value products.
How do you produce your hemp? What is the process behind it and where is it sourced from?
We have a fully integrated ‘seed to shelf’ model whereby we grow our own hemp in several regions of Western Canada and once harvested, we utilise a bespoke processing stage incorporating five dedicated steps (generic practice comprises two stages) of clean-up and pressing, which removes the majority of the shell from the seed for a much better taste. The Hempco method also ensures that the delicate seed is protected; maximising nutritional content and preserving the chlorophyll (an excellent source of Magnesium) naturally present in the seed to deliver probably the highest quality hemp seed oil on the market.
Do you use any specific technology during the methodology? Do you work in conjunction with any specific producers and manufacturers?
As above we have a bespoke process developed over many years
How did you come up with the product range – from protein powder to the fruit bites? Has anyone particular product been most popular?
Our initial range was developed to supply the needs of several consumer segments; those looking for a versatile and healthy ingredient to add to their salads, soups, smoothie, etc. – hemp seed or the ideal finishing and nutritional oil – hemp seed oil (the only oil with the ideal Omega 3 & 6 balance); those looking for a great protein shake – we have three versions – Original, Maple Cinnamon & Vanilla Chai and finally consumers seeking a tasty, healthy snack – our Cacao and fruit bites. We are now working on new concepts based on key trends such as ‘food on the go’ and developing exciting new offers to deliver innovation across a range of categories.
Do you think hemp will become more mainstream in the future as awareness around it grows? How can producers overcome consumers scepticism of associating hemp with cannabis?
Definitely yes; indeed the move from niche to mainstream is already in progress and we are playing a major role in driving the process. I have had many, many conversations with consumers, NGO’s, private and public sector organisations, and in every case, once the full benefits of hemp are communicated the interest in this amazing plant is substantial. For example, we are in active discussions with major multiples to explore how a high quality plant protein such as hemp can enhance virtually any category by addition or substitution.
By way of background, it is forecast that the market value of plant protein will increase by almost 30% by 2020; from around $7.7bn today to over $10bn. The main consumer drivers centre around an increasing level of health consciousness combined with growing concerns around the environmental and sustainability issues of meat production and indeed animal welfare matters. Food retailers and manufacturers such as ourselves are helping this growth by developing new and interesting products that incorporate plant protein to offer a great eating experience without asking the consumer to compromise on taste and enjoyment to gain a health benefit.
This trend towards plant protein is the foundation of a hemp ‘renaissance’ as hemp has more to offer than virtually any other plant protein source;
Percentage protein content;
Hemp Seed: 33.0
Chick Peas: 8.9
Garden Peas: 5.4
Kidney Beans: 23.6
Fava Beans: 26
Uniquely, Hempseed protein is 65% ‘globulin edistin.’ This closely resembles the globulin in blood plasma, actively supports our immune system and is extremely compatible with the human digestive system; making hemp protein easier to digest than many other plant proteins. Hemp Protein and hempseed oil have been found to be a factor in DNA repair. Hemp has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) needed by the human body. One task of Omega 3 is cellular repair.
However, in addition to offering an excellent plant protein source, hemp offers many additional benefits to the environment and from an agricultural perspective represents a crop with probably the greatest number of commercial applications of any plant.
Hemp is one of the fastest growing plants and was first spun into usable fibre some 10,000 years ago. Hemp seed production is ‘carbon negative’ as it absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere whilst growing than the equipment used to harvest, process and transport it. By comparison, Soya bean production to ‘farm gate’ equates to 642 CO2eq/kg. Hemp can be refined into a vast and diverse range of commercial products including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.
Due to its vigorous growth, hemp is known to be a pioneer plant that can be used for land reclamation and indeed phytoremediation; ‘cleaning’ land polluted by heavy metals, using the biomass as industrial raw materials for composites, pulp and paper and chemical industries etc. (Kozlowski et al. 2004). Hemp is a valuable preceding crop in rotations; after cultivation, the soil is left in optimum condition; for example delivering a 10–20% higher wheat yield.
Hemp can be grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides or fungicides. Hemp therefore easily complies with requirements of organic farming and is suitable for cultivation near surface water. Hemp is in the top five out of 23 crops for biodiversity friendliness, performing better than all major crops such as wheat, maize or rapeseed (Montford and Small (1999)
To find out more about the Planet Hemp range and news please click the link and check out the site http://www.planethemp.ca/
For all UK customers, Planet Hemp products are available at https://www.boroughbox.com/planet-hemp