There is a plant can be harnessed to address many of the problems we face in this country. Nutrition, employment and environmental damage for starters. It can be used to make rope, clothes, food, paper, textiles, plastics, insulation, building materials and biofuel.
This plant is called hemp and it is banned from being grown in this country. Our Ministry of Health decided that because it is in the cannabis family, it will make you hallucinate or have psychoactivity. This is despite the fact that you can smoke hemp all day long without the slightest bit of hallucination. Great discomfort by 5pm, but no hallucinations. This lack of hallucinations is because the active ingredient in hemp, CBD, suppresses the active ingredient in cannabis, THC. THC is what causes the hallucinations.
We are a malnourished country. Obesity, starvation and infertility are all forms of malnutrition. We are the third most obese nation on earth. Malnutrition starts in the soil. In a previous column I have elaborated on how our government ensures that we are a malnourished nation, by allowing the farm poison Glyphosate, which chelates our soils and bodies of micronutrients, to be used in the production of all our staple foods. Glyphosate was patented in 1964 as a descaling agent so our soils and bodies are being descaled of micronutrients.
Hemp, unlike wheat, maize, soya and cotton, is not grown with Glyphosate. That automatically means that it is more nutritious than any of the aforementioned plants. The most nutritious part of the plant is the seed. I could fill this whole column with the health benefits of hemp seeds so for brevity they a) have the correct balance of fatty acids, b) contain all 9 known essential amino acids, c) are 25% protein and d) go and buy some and feel for yourself what they do to your body whilst you eat them.
As the world industrialises and urbanises, to the cheerleading of reductionist academia and media, so most rural people move from livelihoods to deadlihoods. Employment in producing food that nourishes gives dignity to these people who have become marginalised by this so called progressive system, also known as capitalism. Hemp offers an opportunity for redemption. It is the one crop that can be grown without using pesticides and herbicides because it is not eaten by any pests and it grows so quickly that it crowds out all competition hence no need for herbicides. It does need to be fed as it is not a legume, a plant that sequesters it’s own Nitrogen, but for organic farmers making compost is easy. Hemp would be the ideal plant to grow, both for all small scale and large scale farmers who, as a rule, are under severe pressure from all sides. Imagine the industries that could be spawned from a plant that can be used for rope, clothes, food, paper, textiles, plastics, insulation and biofuel.
The Chinese army, the biggest in the world, now uses hemp exclusively for their socks, underwear and t-shirts. Because it yields 4 times the yield of cotton from the same piece of land and the clothing has antibacterial properties. Cotton is a big problem. 4% of the world’s agricultural land is used to produce cotton but it uses 24% of the world’s agricultural chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides etc. All of these ‘cides are not on the side of the farmer or the consumer. They are on the side of the agricultural chemical companies.
Continued petitions to the Minister of Health to unlock the potential of this wonder plant is the best course of action for us.
27 July 2016