Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species, one of the fastest growing plants in the world and also the first to be spun into usable fibres including paper, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paints, food, and animal feed to name a few. But it also carries with it a polarising stigma, due to its psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, when used as a drug. Determined to prove that there’s so much more to this natural ingredient is the founder of Plant Culture, Cameron Sims.

"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art."

Sims is leading a movement to introduce hemp seed as a staple protein in the Kiwi diet, as well as educate people on the difference between hemp seed as a food product and marijuana. As a food source, it boasts a host of health benefits including a comparable amount of protein to that found in lamb and beef, a complete amino acid profile, omegas 3, 6 and 9, as well as a bevvy of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. With barely traceable amounts of THC present (any consumable hemp must contain less than 0.3%), the finely milled seeds are best used in smoothies, bliss balls and desserts, and come in fully compostable packaging (with directions on how to bring the compost to life at home).

Hoping to further educate the masses on the benefits and science behind this wonder food, Sims is launching a pop-up restaurant at Atomic Coffee Roasters in Kingsland from Thursday 17th – Sunday 20th August. The intimate 40-seat evenings will be dedicated to creating awareness, as well as serving a plant-based, gluten free, four-course set menu that will showcase the versatility and benefits of the nutrient-dense seed, and how easily it can be incorporated into everyone’s daily diet.

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