You have probably heard of hemp, or maybe you know it as cannabis. Dubbed industrial hemp because of its numerous industrial applications, it has proven one of the most versatile and profitable cash crops of the century.
Hemp is used to make rope, textiles, clothing and bioplastics and many more others, but have you ever heard of hemp burgers?
Yes, that’s right. Hemp burgers. Hemp has long been an ingredient in the kitchen, mostly for the nutritional benefits the plant offers. Hemp burgers are an exciting new venture by Carla Boyd, the founder of Hemp Way Founds.
Right off the bat, she makes a clear distinction between hemp and marijuana. The main difference between the two is THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) levels. It is the compound responsible for cannabis’ famous ‘high’, and according to the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp has to have less than 0.3% THC to be legal.
“No, this product will not get you high,” she stresses.
Boyd’s hemp burgers are made from hemp hearts, hemp protein plus the more common ingredients like brown rice, lentils, flaxseed, and chia seed. “Hemp is a superfood,” she says.
She created this recipe after she developed digestive issues and food allergies, and she was looking for something that would be easier on her digestive tract.
“So I started giving out hemp burgers to tons of friends and those friends were giving it to other friends and soon people started calling me.”
Her hemp burgers are being served at local restaurants and they can be found at grocery stores like Alfalfa’s and Lucky’s Market. Her hemp-based meat substitutes are available in a burger, crumble and breakfast sausage. The flavor, she says, doesn’t taste like fake meat, but more like wholesome food.
Her hemp burger comes at a time when more and more people are looking for meat-free alternatives, with more selections available at grocery stores and fast-food restaurants. Earlier this year, Burger King partnered with Impossible Foods and created the Impossible Whooper, a plant-based protein version of Burger King’s famous Whopper sandwich.
Del Taco has also joined the bandwagon, partnering with Beyond Meat to offer a 100% plant-based protein option in two new signature protein-packed burritos, the Beyond 8 Layer Burrito and the Epic Beyond Cali Burrito.
“There’s tons of veggie burgers on the market now,” says Boyd, “but there are very few products on the market, specifically in the frozen food world, containing hemp hearts.” If the trend continues, her hemp burger will be the first of many.
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