HEMP LEAF AS FOOD IN AUSTRALIA
MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday October 21 2021
HEMP LEAF, SPROUTS AND ROOTS AS FOOD IN AUSTRALIA
A NEW LEAF FOR LOW-THC CANNABIS
Australian industrial hemp farmers can look forward to joining the trade in hemp plant products, as an application has been accepted by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ). This application is to alter the Australian Food Code (the Code) to meet internationally accepted standards, opening new markets for Australian producers of industrial hemp.
Cannabis law reformer and hemp industry pioneer Andrew Kavasilas has successfully lodged an application to request amendments to the Code that would permit the use and sale of low-delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp leaf, seed sprouts and roots for human consumption. On the path to commercialisation Mr Kavasilas has joined forces with Hemp Fields, a leading industrial hemp producer, who operate one of the largest low-THC Cannabis (Hemp) research and development facilities in Australia.
Australian super food connoisseurs and health conscious consumers waited more than 17 years before local authorities allowed hemp seed food products to be legally sold.
Mr Kavasilas said, “Australian farmers need the opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to the various uses of hemp. I’m encouraging State Governments to support this application straight away and let’s not waste another decade like the hemp seed food application.”
The low-THC hemp leaf can be used in the same manner as dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale or even used as an adjunct to hops in beer. The fresh leaves can be used as a micro-green ingredient in salads and smoothies and can be juiced and cooked. Just like other similar produce, cannabis leaf contains folate, iron, calcium, vitamin K and vitamin C, magnesium and phosphorus. It’s a good source of dietary fibre, enhanced flavonoids and unique terpenes which produce favourable tastes.
Hemp Fields Managing Director, Arthur Wajs, who also serves on the Executive Board of the Australian Industrial Hemp Alliance (AIHA) said, “I believe that we will see an industry drive to fund and fast-track the path to FSANZ Assessment. Australian hemp farmers need the ability to capitalise on this commercial opportunity, especially when hemp foods demonstrate outstanding nutritional and health benefits. The farmers have an environmental responsibility to utilise all parts of the hemp plant. The economic impact of the whole plant utilisation will lead to job creation in rural areas, exponentially increasing the value of the hemp food industry in Australia.”
Low-THC hemp seed sprouts can be used in the same way as other bean and seed sprouts that are commonly sold in Australia and New Zealand. Low-THC hemp roots can be uniquely prepared and used in a similar manner to ginger. The dried root can be used as an ingredient in tea blends, herbal infusion products and coffee substitute products in a similar way to roasted dandelion root.
Mr Kavasilas added, “this isn’t like hemp seed production, Australian producers can be market ready for domestic and international trade within months, we just need Australian Food Regulators to make the necessary approvals.”
For any inquiries please contact Andrew Kavasilas 0427 891 968