Friday, November 16, 2012


People are always asking me what to do for protein.  While I've covered this topic to some degree here, a high-quality, go-to protein source bears mentioning.  I tend to downplay protein's importance as I feel increasingly exasperated (I can be a petulant poop, I admit) by the mainstream's fixation on (what I see as) the wrong thing.  Namely; OMG where do I get my protein?!  Versus; OMG human, animal, and planetary health are declining at alarming rates due to over-consumption of the bodies of animals, how can we live and feel and be and do better?!

Whether you're asking the first or the second question, hemp can be part of the answer.  Hemp is a super plant if there ever was one, and it's a damn shame that hemp production was banned in the US in early 1900's because of the greedy private interests of companies like Dupont, whose petroleum-based plastic products were threatened by hemp, and timber companies who saw big bucks in logging and milling, rather than producing paper from fast-growing hemp.  There are plenty of interesting articles on the topic herehere, and here for starters.

What I didn't know until recently was that hemp is also an unbeatable protein source.  It's a complete protein (all 10 essential amino acids), is less acidic than other proteins (helping to keep the body in an alkaline state), and as it is consumed raw and unprocessed, its enzymes are in tact making it easier on the digestive system.  Additionally, since its a plant protein, it doesn't come with all the added fat, cholesterol, blood, death, and animal suffering.  (Sorry, you know I have to throw that stuff in there from time to time!)

Finally, according to Thrive, the Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life, "A high-quality complete protein such as hemp is instrumental not only in muscle and tissue regeneration but also fat metabolism.  Protein, once ingested, instigates the release of a  hormone that enables the body to more easily utilize its fat reserves, which in turn will improve endurance and facilitate loss of body fat."
So now that you know about hemp, how do you incorporate it into your diet?  Lucky for all of us, it's tasty and can go in just about anything.  Just 3 Tablespoons have 10 grams of protein, not to mention 30% of your daily iron needs.

Here are a few ideas to get you started, I keep some in a small container on the counter for easy access. Add a few tablespoons:
The list goes on and on.  Go nuts!  Put it in everything and see how you feel.  Buy in bulk for the best price and do the math - you're getting a lot of bang for you buck.  I bought this big 2.27kg jug for about 50 bucks.  At 30 grams per serving, that's 75 servings, or 67¢ per serving.  67¢ for 10 grams of protein seems pretty reasonable to me.

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