Hemp. It’s been around for at least 10,000 years. Many cultures, societies, and countries used this wonderful plant as medicine, food, and fiber. It cured diseases, it eradicated hunger, it clothed us, it sheltered us.
Our country once depended on industrial hemp. It was our clothing, our food, our medicine, our paper (the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper). It was an important part of our economy. The federal government, via the USDA, encouraged farmers to grow hemp for the war effort (WWII – you can see the USDA film Hemp for Victory here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jokV8xlJTNE). Taxes could be paid with hemp. It was CURRENCY.
Why do we need hemp today? Let’s first look at what has replaced hemp.
Food – our food has become fast, convenient, yet less nutritional. Canned and processed foods have become laden with chemicals and preservatives. The nutrition has been cooked out of it. The essential nutrients that our bodies need have become secondary to ease and preparation. Some foods have been genetically modified.
Fibers – hemp clothing and rope has been replaced with synthetics. Nylon and polyester are synthetics that are fossil-fuel and chemical-based. And in the processing we have damaged the environment and polluted our earth, air, and water.
Medicine – Nutritional medicine has been replaced with chemical medications. I am not saying ALL chemical medications are bad, but have you seen the pages of warnings and side effects for those drugs? They are dangerous, especially if too many are taken or if dosages are too high.
Fuel – renewable hemp fuel, which is cleaner, safer, and environmentally responsible has been replaced with non-renewable pollution-laden fossil fuels. And where do we get those fossil fuels? Some are in the US, some are imported. (Plus, look at the cost.) Some wars were even fought because of this!
Why do we need hemp now more than ever?
1. Hemp is environmentally safe. While hemp grows it heals the soil and cleans the air. Processing is less chemical intensive than processing cotton and carbon-based products.
2. Hemp is healthy. Hemp is a complete protein. It also has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids needed by the human body. It is CLEAN food, it is CLEAN medicine.
3. Hemp can put our farmers back to work and boost our economy. Did you know that the US imports all of its hemp? Canadian exports of hemp for 2010 reached about $10,000,000. With the legalization of hemp farming we can have healthy, clean food products, healthy hemp homes, create hemp-based plastics and cars – the list is endless. Hemp can be manufactured into approximately 30,000 products. Can you see how this crop would help our economy?
4. Hemp can fuel our cars and boats, heat our homes, and be used in ovens and stoves. It is a clean, healthy fuel that is renewable and safe.
This wonderful plant, which has been used for centuries, has thousands upon thousands of uses – biodegradable, nourishing products and safe, clean energy.
This seed will NOT go away, it will continue to make its way back to the mainstream. It MUST. Our physical, economical, and environmental health depend on it.