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October 19, 2013

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

by Anne Paddock

When most people think of hemp, they think of marijuana and although the association is understandable, there is a big difference between hulled hemp seeds (which are also called hemp hearts) and marijuana. They both come from the cannabis plant but hulled hemp seeds or hemp hearts have .001% (one thousandth) of THC (the mind altering agent) whereas marijuana has 3-22%, with an average of 9%. So although hemp has gotten a bad rap from its distant recreational drugee cousin, hemp in reality is a very nutritious seed that provides a complete protein and is easily digestible.

Shelled Hemp SeedManitoba Harvest Hemp Foods was started by Mike Fata, the CEO and two of his friends, Martin and Alex in 1998, right after industrialized hemp was legalized in Canada.The company’s goal was to produce the highest quality hemp food products while educating the public on the nutritional benefits of hemp. By 2004, sales of hemp foods were legal in the United States although few people knew of the nutritional benefits of hemp. Thus, an educational effort began that continues today.

manitobaharvest_hh_8oz_12oz_heartThe company is based in Canada and is the largest vertically integrated hemp food manufacturer in the world controlling every aspect of the production process. Crops are sourced, harvested, processed, packaged and distributed by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods to ensure quality control.  Two of the company’s most popular products are the Hemp Hearts.

485099_10151521025736122_1733593944_nHemp Hearts are soft textured hulled seeds with a nutty flavor making them ideal to sprinkle on salads, yogurt, cereal and in a breakfast porridge.  All natural with no additives, fillers, or preservatives, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts are nutritionally sound and just plain yummy with a great texture. A single serving of three tablespoons contains 170 calories, 10 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat (mostly polyunsaturated), 3 grams of dietary fiber and less than 1 gram of sugar. High in iron, thiamine, B6, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium, Hemp Hearts are a complete protein  – a major nutritional attribute.

To purchase Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts or Organic Hemp Hearts,  use the company locator service to find a store nearby or go directly to the company website:  www.manitobaharvest.com. The Hemp Hearts come in a variety of sizes (2 ounces for $3, 8 ounces for $9, 16 ounces for $16, and 5 pounds for $50) while the Organic Hemp Hearts come in 2 sizes: 12 ounces for $15 or 5 pounds for $75.

The company also makes convenient single serve packets of 0.9 ounce Hemp Hearts that come 12 packets to a box for $18. These small packets are ideal to stick in a backpack, purse, or lunchbox for an added nutritional boost later in the day.  Case purchases are also available at a 10% discount through the company. The Hemp Hearts and Organic Hemp Hearts can also be purchased from www.vitacost.com or www.amazon.com.

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