The industry of cold breakfast cereal is beginning to feel a slack in sales. With many Americans becoming more health conscience, cereal is one of the least healthy choices for starting the day. Saturated fats are contained in many American-made cereals, and grains are now being questioned for possible GMOs and aiding in gluten intolerance.
Hemp seeds are emerging as a healthy source of food and new breakfast cereal companies are now becoming popular as an alternative to old-time favorites. According to Ruth Shamai of Ruth’s Hemp Foods, hemp seeds provide essential fatty acids, fiber and protein. Shamai was part of the lobby that helped to re-legalize hemp in Canada in 1998 for commercial growth. Since then, her company has been producing a line of hemp foods to spread the news on the nourishment of hemp. Manufacturing of products began under Nature’s Earthly Choice in 2005.
Another company, Nature’s Path, is also making a presence in America with organic, delicious food. Manufacturing plants are located in Richmond, BC, Vancouver, BC, Montreal, QC, and recently, Minneapolis, MN. They offer ready-to-eat cereal that is a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, manganese, copper and selenium. Hemp seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds are among the natural ingredients that can be found in their different varieties.
Nature’s Path products are now available in many supermarkets and big box stores in the United States. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., hemp looks very promising nutritionally (in the U.S.), but human studies are needed to demonstrate the real-world health benefits of hemp foods. So far, there haven’t been many clinical trials involving hemp in the U.S.
In April 1998, Health Canada amended the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act by adding regulations to make it legal to grow hemp in Canada. Since then, organic hemp farming has been implemented and new, healthier sources of breakfast food have been manufactured and are gaining popularity in Canada and the lower 48.
While hemp seed and organic grain continues to be imported from Canada to new manufacturing facilities in the U.S., it makes you wonder if there isn’t a correlation between the sliding sales of name brand cereals and a new trend in healthier breakfast foods.