Hemp’s ap­peal

The Globe and Mail (BC Edition) - - OPINION -

I thank Les­lie Beck for point­ing out the nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies of al­mond milk (Food For Thought, Life & Arts, Nov. 14).

Not only does al­mond milk have a paucity of pro­tein, its pop­u­lar­ity is detri­men­tal to the en­vi­ron­ment. Drought-stricken Cal­i­for­nia pro­duces the ma­jor­ity of the world’s al­mond sup­ply. The heavy ir­ri­ga­tion re­quired to sus­tain the vast mono­cul­ture of al­monds has ne­ces­si­tated a di­ver­sion of rivers that has had a pro­found im­pact on the salmon pop­u­la­tion. In ad­di­tion, hon­ey­bees are shipped from far and wide to achieve the mass pol­li­na­tion re­quired to pro­duce yearly crops, cre­at­ing a host of detri­men­tal health prob­lems in this al­ready com­pro­mised in­sect that is es­sen­tial to our food chain.

Hemp milk is an ex­cel­lent sus­tain­able al­ter­na­tive. Hemp is eas­ily grown in Canada, and three ta­ble­spoons in a blender with one cup of wa­ter pro­vides 10 grams of pro­tein, three grams of fi­bre and healthy fats.

Throw in a ta­ble­spoon of pump­kin seeds, also abun­dantly pro­duced in Canada, and you have boosted the nu­tri­tional con­tent con­sid­er­ably. When choos­ing ve­gan milks, it is pos­si­ble to have af­ford­able and nu­tri­tional al­ter­na­tives to cow’s milk that are also healthy for the planet. – Kate An­der­son, MD, Fer­gus, Ont.

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