While people are getting scared over the tariff wars happening in the news cycle, I see the opening for an industry to emerge full force and bring back “Made In America”. Soybeans are the latest cause for controversy claiming headlines such as: “Soybeans down 16 percent in 2 months” and “Soybeans are getting whacked after China announces tariffs …”
Soy get’s a bad rap, but this crop has become an important one for American farmers. We generally see it grown in a crop rotation with corn, creating good risk management for both crops by breaking disease, insect, and weed cycles, as well as managing farm workflow. The soy plant is used for lots of things from cooking oils, milk (for those with lactose intolerance), to biodiesel and the leftover soybean meal is used in food production and is “regarded” as the best vegetable protein food source and accounts for over 65% of the world’s protein requirements including farming, as a feed for livestock with most of it going to chicken farms. Soy milk is higher in protein and iron content, it is also cholesterol-free, low fat, and low sodium. It is, however, lower in calcium and must be fortified when given to growing children. Those who are allergic to cow’s milk or are unable to digest lactose, the natural sugar found in cow’s milk, find soy milk easy to digest since it is lactose-free.
American farmers grow as much as 89.2 million acres per year (2018).
So seeing all of this information definitely can seem scary when thinking about China not buying from us come harvest time.
BUT, while people are in a panic over the potential threat of another country not buying our crops there is another solution right in front of us that we can give to ourselves.
There is another crop that we can utilize that is able to do all of the same things and even more for the USA.
Hemp uses approximately the same amount of water per year at 20-30 inches as Soy.
Hemp is already being used in Kentucky as a rotational crop with corn and it is increasing their corn harvests.
Hemp needs only .3 lbs to make a gallon of hemp milk while Soy needs a full pound to make one gallon.
Hemp does more for the soil than soy and traps (sequesters) more carbon than any other plant currently understood by science.
Hemp produces more hurd than trees (the next closest) in less time and can be more easily processed into paper products.
Hemp seeds were used in bird seed mixes until cannabis prohibition in the early 1900s. It was even testified once during this time that “The birds will pick the hemp seeds out first” (inferring the birds knew that the hemp seeds were better for them) and “Without the hemp seed, the birds won’t sing”.
Hemp seed oil lasts longer than soy-based oils taking longer to degrade, even being the choice of the US Military in its most vitally viscous places. It also has a larger portion of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in better proportions than other oils produced by plants.
Hemp seed meal, the leftover seed after pressing for oil, is PACKED with protein and many other micro/macronutrients.
Hemp stalk produces fiber that can be used in the production of housing/clothing/shoes/energy/nanotech and much more.
Hemp composite plastics WILL change the world for the better by allowing the plastics to break down quickly not harming the earth and its inhabitants.
Hemp nutrition is so similar to humans that if you ate only hemp in its variety of forms you could survive; OBVIOUSLY, IT WOULD SUCK, but, it will work.
Hemp has properties that allow it to be grown pesticide free in most places around the country.
Hemp can even make more efficient biodiesel than Soy can and it even fires and flows at low temps closer to real diesel.
Soy: Flash 134.1c Pour 0c
Diesel: Flash 60c Pour -16c
Hemp: Flash 47c Pour -17c
With all of this all being strong enough evidence to support hemp, there is even more…
Hemp milk is typically fortified with calcium like soy, as well as phosphorus, vitamins A, B12 and vitamin D. It also typically contains added sugar, salt, thickeners or other additives (unless otherwise specified). Most of the fat in hemp milk is unsaturated essential fatty acids, including linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3), which are essential for building new tissue and membranes in our bodies. Hemp milk also provides protein that your body can easily digest and use. It’s one of few plant-based complete proteins, as it contains all of the essential amino acids that humans need from food.
So, while Soy has become a powerhouse for American farmers, Hemp was left behind despite its incredibly vast array of uses for humans.
I can see that we have already planted the crops this year and that there isn’t much we can do about it right now.
But let us see ahead to the future:
I can see more jobs than bodies; With the vast array of applications, the hemp plant has it would create jobs in virtually every single industry with one plant.
I can see products made in America for Americans again; Keeping us in tighter control over the economy of our country.
I can see more options for our farmers; As to what they want their crops to be made into giving them tighter control of their personal economy.
I can see the “waste” becoming profit; while the majority of the Soy plants get composted after harvesting, creating a waste product,
Hemp does not lend itself to such singular ideals.
- Its roots can be made into anti-inflammatory medicine.
- Its stalk can create hempcrete or be used in clothing or to make wood.
- Its leaves can feed the hungry through their nutritional content via juicing or eating them raw.
- Its seeds can make the fuel needed to run our vehicles NET 0 carbon production, it can make the oils needed for cooking and eating as well as be used in food products instead of soy.
- Its flowers can be used to make anti-seizure medicines that ACTUALLY WORK for people of any age.
- It growing can help slow down / equalize human carbon creation issues.
So let’s all give Hemp a round of applause for its invaluable service to mankind, even after being jailed in the equivalent of a supermax and slandered so vigorously, it is still here for us.
Even those of you who chose to hate it because of the lies perpetuated by those with deep pockets who were on the wrong side of history.