Hooray My Family Likes Hemp!

I recently introduced my kids to Manitoba Harvest’s hemp hearts. All I read touted these wee seeds  as a nutrition powerhouse which naturally intrigued me. What parent doesn’t dream of good-tasting, easy to use (read: NO PREP!!) healthy foods that kids will happily eat. So I gave it a go.

Now a few months after adding hemp hearts to our meals, my eldest daughter now requests them.  We use them on salads, in our home-baked goods and sprinkled on after school snacks such as Coconut Bliss.  Even our fave baking mix becomes a little bit more super-foody by adding hemp hearts. And as my daughter tends not to eat much meat or cheese, her favourite meal…a corn tortilla with salsa suddenly becomes a more nutritionally-balanced meal by adding hemp hearts.

There are a number of other reasons I love that hemp hearts have become a food choice in our house:

Hemp is grown in Canada. With so many of our foods in Canada coming from warmer climes, I love that hemp is home-grown.  Hemp is a sustainable crop used also in the production of building products, paper and clothes. So as an environmentalist, I am hoping that this means eventually less of our gorgeous trees will be cut down for paper. And hopefully there will be less need for clothes made from cotton….one of the most-sprayed crops in North America.

And anyone who knows me or reads my posts, will know that I LOVE the fact that hemp is not grown with the high pesticide use common in many other North American food crops. High pesticide use is why my family has  already given up non-organic wheat, soy, corn and sugar.

The nutritional benefits of hemp would make anyone striving for an all-round healthy foods want to try it. Known for its protein-packed punch…10 g of vegan protein per 3 tbsp AND without excessive saturated fat and cholesterol, it knocks the socks off a number of other conventional animal sources of protein. And the near perfect ratio of Omega 3 and 6’s is not found naturally in either flax or in chia.

And hemp contains the hard to come by Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA). Studies have shown that GLA helps with arthritis, join mobility, eczema, hormonal balance, migraines, blood pressure levels and even weight management.  Hemp is also a good source of fibre, iron, thiamine, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and manganese.

Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts come already hulled making them easy to digest allowing the nutritional benefits to be easily assimilated into the body.  I appreciate that Manitoba Harvest processes in a dedicated facility meaning it does not process any dairy, soy, nut or gluten products.  We have no allergies in our home but being void of known allergens makes Manitoba Hemp Hearts a suitable addition to my kids lunchbox meals.

Reading up on the hemp industry in Canada will confirm that it is a very regulated business. You can rest easy knowing that any notion that hemp is related to marijuana was put to rest years ago by our Federal Government.  They reportedly tested hemp for 4 years prior to legalizing commercial hemp production in Canada in 1998. A ‘virtual high-five’ for Health Canada!

So super-healthy, tasty and clean (even the de-hulling process is chemical-free), I am happy I gave hemp hearts the ‘kid-test’ in my house.

Manitoba Harvest has offered to send a total of 5 lucky people in either the US or Canada a bag of hemp hearts!!!  We will draw from the entries on July 5, 2013. There are a number of ways to become eligible to win.

Here’s What to Do:Hemp_Hearts__12867.1371813843.1280.1280

  • Post a comment on this post telling us why you would like to try hemp hearts.
  • Tweet: I want to try #hemphearts  @sessabel @manitobaharvest #giveaway #EatRealFood
  • Share this post and giveaway on Facebook and tag @sessabel (and we like when you ‘like’ our page too!)
  • Or Pin the Hemp Hearts photo to Pinterest tagging Sessabel We just started Pinterest this week so would love a wee bit of love for our board!
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Toxic Trinket or Toy?

My 4 year old was at a classmates party recently and received the cutest little bauble as a giveaway. A brightly coloured ball on a keychain. Cute, cute, cute. But reading the ingredients inside the fancy pink ball made this mom squirm.

The product called Twist and Pout is a lip balm with SPF.  The package itself listed the active ingredients which did include 7.5% octinoxate and 4.5% oxybenzone. Both are commonly used synthetic sunscreen ingredients with oxybenzone being THE most controversial sunscreen chemical of the bunch. With health concerns that include endocrine disruption, oxybenzone certainly deserves a controversial billing.

I continued to check on-line for the remainder of the ingredients.  The company’s website sadly, did not list the ingredients.  After searching other websites that sell the product, I found the rest of the ingredients.

The fancy pink ball also contained retinyl palmitate. I had read recently that Health Canada is looking to put a warning on sunscreen products containing retinyl palmitate. It is suspected that retinol or its derivative retinyl palmitate breaks down in sunlight potentially causing cellular level damage. Yikes! The ingredients were beginning to sound more and more dastardly and far from being a suitable child’s toy.

I read lots of reviews of the Twist and Pout product on line.  Many blogs touted its natural ingredients and one even made mention of the products all ‘organic’ ingredients.  Huh?? Nary a mention of the unsavoury very synthetic ingredients. People seemed to love the feel of the product on their lips and of course the packaging was a huge hit.  The do-gooder manufacturer even offers 5% of sales of ‘Pink Ribbon’ balls to Breast Cancer-based work. Are people choosing this product without focusing on what toxins are lurking inside?

It made me realize how ever-important it is to research your own products and ensure you are comfortable with the ingredients.  In this case, I definitely say ‘toxic trinket’ not suitable as a giveaway for wee kids.

The manufacturer of Twist and Pout has loads of opportunity to improve on their cute product. Take out the synthetics (including the fragrance of unknown origin) and more people ( including me) may be touting it’s complete and utter fabulousness.

Recently at my eldest daughter’s birthday party, I chose to giveaway Keeki Pure & Simple products and Clinical Luxury’s LipStuff. The kids loved them AND both lines contain only the most natural ingredients with not one suspected toxin. To me these nicely fit the bill for young girls who wanted to look and feel fancy without their parents having to worry about any associated risks.

***  I have never received compensation of ANY sort from any company whose product I gush about.  I like to think of myself as a cheerleader for companies making a difference by offering ALL NATURAL, safe products and simply love to write about them.