UK Hemp Sales Soar: Jamie Oliver, Athletes and Celebrities Catch On

UK Hemp Revival in Full Swing
Sara Snow is already an advocate for the environmental and health benefits of hemp, and TreeHugger has covered a huge range of hemp products, from sexy lingerie to hemp carpets and even hemp houses. It looks like the trend is certainly taking off in the UK, with sales of hemp oil up some 100% in the past couple of years. The much touted miracle plant is attracting the attention of movie stars, Jamie Oliver, and of course, the police:

"It certainly looks like a huge field of cannabis, and when the crop is harvested a pungent, heady aroma can be sniffed from five miles away. Little wonder that someone rang Crimestoppers and the police came knocking when Henry Braham and Glynis Murray started growing hemp on their north Devon farm. The officers quickly found that the couple were not part of a drugs cartel but were cultivating the hemp for its seeds - which yield a nutty oil being touted as Britain's answer to olive oil."

The article goes on to detail how the oil is becoming popular with professional athletes, including some of Britain's top cyclists; film stars looking to improve their complexions; and consumers looking to ease conditions such as arthritis. A recent report from the Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has welcomed the use of hemp as a crop for farm diversification - pointing out its multitude of uses, its relative hardiness, and minimal waste — when seeds are pressed, the remaining hulls can be used for animal feed.

And with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall drizling it on toast, and even ice cream, it seems clear that hemp is gaining wider acceptance. Unfortunately we are still at a stage where every article about the crop has to emphasize its lack of narcotic effect, and usually include a drug-related pun or two, but hopefully as the profile of hemp rises we can move beyond such concerns and celebrate hemp for the environmental resource it is. Who knows, maybe we'll one day see it legal in the US too

::The Guardian::via site visit::

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Tags: Farming | United Kingdom

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