hemp will change the world
recently i've been giving a lot of thought to hemp, as i sprinkle this:
hempseed, on my cereal every morning. it is so so delicious, contains omega 3,6, and 9, it's full of fiber and protein, and it's a very sustainable plant that doesn't require pesticides and grows really quickly (it's a weed after all!).
funny thing is, i have to buy hempseed from canada. it's illegal to grow here, though it used to be legal in america until the 1920's. in fact, 80% of our clothes were made out of hemp until the 20's and the constitution was actually written on hemp paper!
so what happened? big business happened, fear mongering happened. paper, plastic, and oil companies became too powerful and didn't want to deal with the competition hemp provided. regan's war on drugs put out false information on marjuana, and the government continues to do this today. i've seen the commercials :( .
history repeats itself over and over again, and there seems to always be an abundance of misinformation out there.
here are some hemp facts
1) Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginnings of pottery. The Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC.
2) Presidents Washington and Jefferson both grew hemp. Americans were legally bound to grow hemp during the Colonial Era and Early Republic. The federal government subsidized hemp during the Second World War and US farmers grew about a million acres of hemp as part of that program.
3) Hemp Seed is far more nutritious than even soybean, contains more essential fatty acids than any other source, is second only to soybeans in complete protein (but is more digestible by humans), is high in B-vitamins, and is 35% dietary fiber. Hemp seed is not psychoactive and cannot be used as a drug. See TestPledge.com
4) The bark of the hemp stalk contains bast fibers which are among the Earth's longest natural soft fibers and are also rich in cellulose; the cellulose and hemi-cellulose in its inner woody core are called hurds. Hemp stalk is not psychoactive. Hemp fiber is longer, stronger, more absorbent and more insulative than cotton fiber.
5) According to the Department of Energy, hemp as a biomass fuel producer requires the least specialized growing and processing procedures of all hemp products. The hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Development of biofuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power.
6) Hemp grows well without herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides. Almost half of the agricultural chemicals used on US crops are applied to cotton.
7) Hemp produces more pulp per acre than timber on a sustainable basis, and can be used for every quality of paper. Hemp paper manufacturing can reduce wastewater contamination. Hemp's low lignin content reduces the need for acids used in pulping, and it's creamy color lends itself to environmentally friendly bleaching instead of harsh chlorine compounds. Less bleaching results in less dioxin and fewer chemical byproducts.
8) Hemp fiber paper resists decomposition, and does not yellow with age when an acid-free process is used. Hemp paper more than 1,500 years old has been found. It can also be recycled more times.
9) Hemp fiberboard produced by Washington State University was found to be twice as strong as wood-based fiberboard.
10) Eco-friendly hemp can replace most toxic petrochemical products. Research is being done to use hemp in manufacturing biodegradable plastic products: plant-based cellophane, recycled plastic mixed with hemp for injection-molded products, and resins made from the oil, to name just a very few examples.
so what are we waiting for?? let's rally together and lobby to make this beautiful plant legal to grow in the usa! the recent riots in north africa demonstrate what power we have when we all come together as one people. this is our country, our government, our laws. when did one plant, that is NOT a drug, come to be within the domain of government regulation? and why aren't genetically modified plants illegal, plants that are actually harmful for the planet and its creatures??
all this research about hemp also has me reflecting on my baby, my clothing line, what this blog is all about- purusha.
what kind of business am i looking to run? a very conscious, humane, non harming company that is looking out for the well being of all the world- my future employees, the environment, and of course the customer. the customer is what funds the business, they are the business essentially.
and i believe more and more customers these days are looking for the alternative to greedy irresponsible corporations. we are getting fed up with the disdain that the ceo has for the planet and the people. it is no longer sustainable to only care about profits.
while talking about hemp i have to say a word about cotton. cotton uses 50% of america's agricultural pesticides and herbicides, and it requires a shitload of water. cotton is grown in places where there are droughts already, so to pump in water to these farms where the local people don't even have enough water is utterly absurd. one ounce of cotton pesticide dropped on human skin would kill a person. farmers and their families that get paid government subsidies to grow sprayed cotton often get cancer or other illnesses, and even die.
organic cotton is of course better, but it still requires a heck of a lot of water, and it takes much longer to grow than hemp. one cotton crop is grown per season typically, while hemp can have about 3 growing cycles in a season! hemp also is much stronger than cotton, so your hemp clothing will last 50 years instead of 10 years with cotton.
the future of purusha is hemp. no doubt about it, and i am super excited! purusha will undergo a makeover very soon, all items will be either organic cotton or hemp!! i'm also going to bring back some natural dyes that don't fade(this will be another blog entry soon!). i'm pumped to be offering a product no one else has, especially in such a so-called conscientious community as the yoga industry.
stay tuned my friends! good things are in store for purusha!
and in the mean time, i will be looking into how to grow hemp legally in america. we can find a way :) together :)
let me know if you have any ideas, critiques, or suggestions!