Hemp - food

Although hemp was never an important food crop in South Asia, in central Europe it has a long history of cultivation for its oil rich seeds. These can either be eaten whole, usually as part of other dishes or, more often, be pressed for their oil. Clean hemp seed does not contain the chemicals responsible for hemp's psychoactive properties.

Hemp seed oil

Hemp has a new popularity in northern Europe and North America as a food crop. In part, this is because farmers are turning to new crops in a world of agricultural surpluses.

Although Europe is not short of vegetable oil, hemp seed oil does have some special properties. In particular, it is rich in omega fats 3, which has been demonstrated to help protect against heart disease.

The future of some other hemp foods, such as hemp icecream (made from hemp oil), is perhaps more uncertain. But hemp oil itself is a welcome addition to the range of culinary oils now available in British supermarkets.