By Lauren LaRocca, News-Post Staff
Photo by Sam Yu
Margaret Hluch of MOM -- My Organic Market in Frederick -- pours a sample of hemp milk. The market also carries a variety of hemp-based products besides hemp milk.
Long known for its strength and durability in products like clothing and paper, hemp might prove to be just as beneficial in another medium: food.
Turns out, hemp is a leading source of protein (especially beneficial for vegetarians and vegans), it contains all 10 essential amino acids, it's high in fiber, and it tastes good, too, if an acquired taste.
Christina Volgyesi, originally from Canada but now living in Portland, Ore., stumbled upon hemp protein powder during a trip home after never having seen it in the States.
"I really just became amazed," she said during a recent phone interview.
She and her husband began experimenting with hemp seeds, making their own hemp milk in a blender. They added sweeteners, like agave nectar and honey, until they found a recipe they liked.
Soon after, they became the founding partners of Living Harvest, a company that now offers an array of hemp products, including hemp milk in five flavors (original, unsweetened original, vanilla, unsweetened vanilla and chocolate).
In April, they'll launch their ice cream line.
"I've always been interested in nutrition as a way of life," said Volgyesi, now the vice president of marketing for the company.