That the cannabis plant is a versatile plant is no news. And that not every cannabis plant is the same you have probably already experienced yourself. Just think about the difference between a Sativa (which gives you energy) and an Indica (which relaxes). But not all cannabis plants are grown for recreational drug use. They are also used for industrial purposes. For example, to make clothing, textiles, and building materials, but also for consumption in the form of hemp seeds and hemp milk. These cannabis plants contain virtually no THC and can be cultivated legally. In Sweden and New Zealand, they are working on creating a new product from cannabis plants: meat. Yes, you read that right.

Fighting climate change

In recent years, solutions to our climate problem have been sought from all angles and from all industries. The development of meat alternatives can contribute, among other things, to reducing CO2 emissions, preserving forests, and reducing soil and water pollution. Many meat alternatives have already been put on the market: soy, lupin beans, seaweed, carrot, and mycoprotein (Quorn), for example. Soon hemp meat may add itself to this list. Not surprising really, because hemp is a versatile, healthy protein source packed with amino acids. And the idea alone makes our mouths water.

Let’s chew

According to researchers at the Lund University in Sweden, one of the reasons people love meat so much is that we love to chew. And we prefer chewing on a steak instead of chewing on a carrot. If you want to market a meat alternative successfully it must therefore take into account our ‘need to chew’ and have the right meaty structure. With hemp, they hope to achieve this goal.

By cooking hemp proteins under high pressure and at a high temperature they succeeded in producing a ‘meat-like structure’. This structure should increase the attractiveness of hemp meat, says food researcher Karolina Ă–stbring of the Lund University.

In New Zealand, hemp meat will be on the table soon

Not only Sweden, but also New Zealand is working hard to produce a new hemp-based meat alternative. Greenfern Industries is working with Sustainable Foods (known for its brand The Craft Meat Co) and The Riddet Institute on a line of edible hemp products, including a (hopefully delicious) meat alternative. They see hemp as one of the most nutritious and complete food sources in the world and hope to launch their new products this year. We’re very curious to see the final product.

Would you set your teeth into sustainable meat made from hemp?

Will it be available in the Netherlands?

As of now, we do not know whether or not the product line will be available in the Netherlands. We will wait and see. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you in our coffeeshop in Amsterdam. We do not sell hemp burgers, but there are plenty of other veg burgers to eat in the area (we are located in the neighborhood Buitenveldert/Randwijck in Amsterdam). Please do visit us if you are looking for quality weed and hash. We also sell smoking accessories such as rolling papers and grinders. Check the opening hours of coffeeshop the Border Amsterdam before visiting us to make sure we are open. See you there.