Winnipeg, Manitoba (April 26, 2006) - To meet the needs of their growing legion of customers that are seeking healthy organic products, Manitoba Harvest™ Hemp Foods & Oils has introduced a new 16-ounce Organic Hemp Seed Oil. The new offering represents the merging of three of the hottest food trends in the marketplace: hemp; organic; and rich sources of omega-3. Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Seed Oil’s nutty flavor is a convenient and nutritious addition to salad dressings, juices, soups, sauces, smoothies and protein shakes. Dozens of tasty recipes can be found at www.manitobaharvest.com/recipes . Designed to seal in freshness, the new economy size bottle has a suggested retail price of $19.99.
According to research data from AC Nielsen, a leading provider of marketplace information, hemp is one of the key “good for you” food industry categories that is posting consistent year-over-year sales gains. Data from SPINs, another market research leader, indicates that sales of hemp foods have grown more than 50% in each of the past two years. Demand for organic hemp foods is skyrocketing to the point where Manitoba Harvest, the largest integrated manufacturer of hemp foods, will increase their acres of organic hemp planted in 2006 by 500%.
Foods rich in omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are another popular trend in the health food marketplace. “Hemp seed oil is one of the few vegetable oils that contains significant quantities (20%) of the omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA),” says Mike Fata, President and Co-Founder of Manitoba Harvest. “With 78% EFAs overall, hemp seed oil is the leader in the EFA category,” he adds.
Studies link many common ailments to an imbalance or deficiency of EFAs in the typical western diet. Most North Americans consume insufficient amounts of EFAs, or too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3. Hemp seed oil contains the omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs in the nutritionally optimal 1:3 ratio. A chart that compares the dietary fats of 17 different vegetable oils is available at http://www.manitobaharvest.com/nutrition .
Now that omega-3’s are gaining the health and nutrition spotlight, people are trying to find a source that suits their preferences. A key decision an omega-3 shopper needs to make is whether they prefer a vegetable or marine source. Although nutrition experts espouse the many benefits of eating fish, a growing number of reports are raising serious concerns about toxic levels of mercury. For vegetarians and those concerned about toxic contamination, hemp seed oil is a healthy alternative to fish because its EFA concentration is the highest of any vegetable oil.
Another key point of difference between marine and vegetable omega-3 is flavor and format. Most people consume fish oil in the form of supplement capsules. But, to the dismay of the tongue and tastebuds, it is occasionally taken by the spoonful. Those that don’t like pills or the pungent taste of fish oil will find that Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Seed Oil is a delicious and easy “whole-food” way to add omega-3 to the diet. The generally recommended daily intake of ALA can be obtained from one tablespoon of hemp seed oil used as a salad dressing or added to a delicious smoothie.
Although Omega-6 EFAs are found in common vegetable oils like corn, soy and sunflower, many of these oils are not fresh, are full of unhealthy Trans Fatty Acids, and many people are unable to properly digest their fats because their body's production of enzymes needed to metabolize these oils are hampered by stress, environmental toxicity or aging. “Fresh cold pressed hemp seed oil contains no Trans Fats and is a unique plant source of the rare and valuable super Omega-6 EFA called Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) that is easy for the body to process,” adds Fata. “GLA bypasses the enzymatic blocks to allow proper Omega-6 utilization.”
In addition to its content of GLA, high level of ALA and perfect EFA balance, hemp seed is also a rare source of Stearidonic Acid (SDA), a powerful “first metabolite” omega-3 that is purported to offer about 5-times the potency of “regular” ALA omega-3
Organic and Fresh “from sEED to shelf”
Manitoba Harvest demonstrates a commitment to quality “From Seed to Shelf” by growing, preparing, packaging and marketing all of their products. To create Manitoba Harvest™ Organic Hemp Seed Oil, hemp seeds are freshly cold pressed to ensure that valuable enzymes are not destroyed and nutrients such as chlorophyll and vitamin E remain intact. The emerald green color of the oil is due to the rich content of chlorophyll, a powerful antioxidant. Unlike standard oil refining processes, their “FRESH PRESSED™” process does not subject the oil to poisonous chemicals or destructive heat and the exclusion of oxygen and light during manufacturing helps to prevent oxidation and rancidity.
All Manitoba Harvest™ products are packaged fresh on demand and in containers that are impermeable to light and oxygen and flushed with an inert gas to seal in the freshness. Manitoba Harvest’s innovative “Packaged On” and “Best Before” windows of freshness are found on every product.
Founded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest contracts hemp seed production on more than 5,000 acres by more than 20 farmers who are shareholders in the company. The raw, non-GMO seed is processed into hemp seed oil, hemp seed nut, hemp seed nut butter and hemp protein powder at the company’s 6,000 square foot kosher and USDA organic certified processing plant. Manitoba Harvest™ products are offered nationwide by more than 2,500 natural food retailers, including Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats. For more information, please visit www.manitobaharvest.com or call 1-800-665-HEMP (4367).