Manitoba Harvest’s Integrated Hemp Food Processing Facility Gains Organic Certification
Winnipeg, Manitoba – To meet the demands of North America’s insatiable appetite for organic foods, Manitoba Harvest™ has become certified by the Organic Producers Association of Manitoba (OPAM) as a USDA accredited organic processing facility. The company will launch a new line of certified organic staple hemp food products in 2004. The first offering in the new organic line, announced today, is Certified Organic, Cold Pressed Hemp Seed Oil.
Manitoba Harvest’s announcement is timely. Last month, the hemp industry won its 2 ½-year old lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The unanimous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit permanently blocks DEA regulations that attempted to ban nutritious hemp foods. “Sales are expected to explode now that the court has cleared up the false ‘drug’ stigma and the regulatory uncertainties for consumers and hemp industry farmers, manufacturers, retailers and investors,” says Mike Fata, North American Sales Manager. “Even before the decision, we had our best sales quarter ever,” Fata adds.
Manitoba Harvest™ is an integrated company that demonstrates a commitment to quality “From Seed to Shelf,” by growing, processing and packaging all of their products. Their high quality non-GMO hemp seeds are grown in Manitoba, a Canadian Province with a history in hemp cultivation that is recognized as one of the world’s top grain producers. In addition to their organic certification, Manitoba Harvest™ products are also certified as Kosher and Pareve.
To create Manitoba Harvest™ Organic Hemp Seed Oil, hemp seeds are freshly cold pressed (FRESH 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, the 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 in containers that are impermeable to light and oxygen and are 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.
Medical professionals including the renowned Dr. Andrew Weil recommend Hemp Seed Oil due to its ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids(EFAs). In his respected book Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, nutrition expert Udo Erasmus sums it up, “The best balanced plant source of EFAs is Hemp Seed Oil.” Hemp Seed Oil is gaining recognition from nutrition experts because it is one of the few vegetable oils containing significant quantities of alpha-linolenic acid (20%), an important Omega-3 EFA.
Although Omega-6 EFAs are found in foods through the use of common vegetable oils like corn, soy and sunflower, many of these oils are not fresh and are full of Trans Fatty Acids. “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 proven to help balance hormones and relieve arthritis symptoms,” notes Fata.
Not only does Hemp Seed Oil contain more EFAs than fish oil or flax seed oil, most consumers also agree that it tastes better. Hemp Seed Oil’s nutty flavor is a delicious addition to salad dressings, juices, smoothies and protein shakes. Dozens of tasty recipes can be found at www.manitobaharvest.com/recipes .
“We would love to roll out our complete certified organic line right now, but there are supply and demand issues in the industry that need to be sorted out,” says Mike Fata. “There isn’t enough certified organic hemp seed to meet the growing demand,” notes Fata. Certification for family farms that Manitoba Harvest™ partners with is expensive (approximately $2,000 per farm), but farmers are now becoming aware of the exploding organic market and the premium they can get for a certified crop. “We expect future growing seasons will provide adequate organic seeds to expand our organic line,” says Fata. “We also will continue to offer and expand our Non-GMO, sustainably grown, herbicide-free and pesticide-free product line that customers enjoy.”
Founded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest™ offers healthy staple hemp food products including nutritious Hemp Seed Oil, Hemp Seed Oil Capsules, Hemp Seed Nut (shelled hemp seed), Hemp Seed Nut Butter and Hemp Protein Powder. Manitoba Harvest™ products are offered nationwide by more than 1,500 natural food retailers, including Whole Foods Markets. For more information, please visit www.manitobaharvest.com or call 1-800-665-HEMP (4367).