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Is hemp the food of the future?

Many researchers are currently looking into the possibility of a new source of income for hemp producers. If hemp is already directly involved in the cultivation of cereals, fibers and flowers, it seems that its young shoots could be used for a new crop of green vegetables, a healthy and natural food!

Hemp, a food like any other

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona, hemp seedlings may well end up being the new superfood for our salads.

Masson is a farmer living in Arizona. Recently, he decided to plant 17 varieties of hemp grains and fibers in test fields to harvest hemp leaves every 18 days. He explains that these young hemp shoots spread as fast as weeds. His crop even bloomed, which was an opportunity for him to partially get rid of the sometimes bitter taste found in the hemp leaf.

It is still too early to be sure, but it would also seem that these young hemp shoots bring an important nutritional value to the one who consumes them. When asked about this, Masson said the hemp shoots are very dense when eaten. “You can feel the fiber moving through you; even though it’s nice and tender, there’s still a lot of fiber.”

And taste-wise?

A panel of 89 people volunteered to conduct taste tests. In the end, of the 17 varieties tested, five stood out for their good taste.

According to Masson, test participants particularly liked the young hemp shoots with their minty, fruity and floral flavors. They also indicated that the crispness of the hemp reminded them of that encountered with kale.

In addition, they found hemp to have more of a “peach fuzz” compared to other greens. In the end, hemp scored 3.3 on a scale of 1 to 5, although participants indicated a taste preference for hemp over kale.

Real economic stakes

The seedlings germinated very quickly during Masson’s trials: they grew faster than leafy spinach seedlings, even though their planting density is already particularly high!

According to Mr. Masson, there is no need to worry about potential competition for seeds, which are available at relatively high prices. Indeed, hemp is very popular nowadays, and according to his tests and the reaction of consumers, Mr. Masson is convinced that the young hemp shoots will sell out in record time!