Hemp seeds are known to be high in protein. With continued pushes towards healthier lifestyles and regulations about cannabis and its associates relaxing across the world, some are taking advantage of the seeds' nutritional value. As such, we are seeing the emergence of meaty alternatives that are not only healthier than traditional meat products, but that also harm no animals.
By weight, hemp seeds contain similar levels of protein to beef and lamb meat. With 25% of their calories coming from protein, just 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2-3 tablespoons, contain around 11 grams of protein. More than this, hemp seeds are considered a complete protein source- something rare in the plant world- meaning that they provide all the essential amino acids that can only be attained by diet.
But that isn't all. Hemp seeds are also rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids as well as vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, zinc, and sodium.
Meanwhile, unlike traditional meat products, the seeds contain a lot of fiber- both the soluble and insoluble variety. Together, they make the seeds easier to digest than other protein sources such as grains, nuts, and legumes.
As such, researchers and startups alike have started to develop meat-like products from the seeds to substitute meat. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden, for example, have succeeded in creating a 'vegan meat' from hemp that matches meat's texture.
Meanwhile, researchers from New Zealand's Massey University have also developed a hemp plant-based minced meat product. New Zealand-based food-tech firm Sustainable Foods, also known by its retail brand: 'The Craft Meat Co', aims to marketize the product by 2021.
While the firm has not said whether their hemp-based meat matches the experience of eating animal-based products, they said that it made consumers satisfied during 'any eating occasion'. Allegedly similar to eating chicken, the firm hopes their hemp-based meat will be used in various cooking styles usually reserved for meat.