If the pandemic has done anything, it proved that we do live in a global village. Don’t believe me? Look on the shelves of your local grocery store compared to a year ago. The gaps on the shelves are often because of supply chain disruptions hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Individuals, families, communities and nations need to think and act like the intertwined unit we are. Collective global issues need to trump local self-interests.Climate change is because of what we’ve done in the past. What we do now and in the very near future is our only hope. We need to act with urgency – together, all of us. There wasn’t any one thing that got us here and we need multiple ways to fix it. But let’s get one thing perfectly clear: More of the same is the last thing we need right now. Human activity needs to be rethought. We need to embrace true sustainability, living as a part of the ecosystem, not its destroyer.Life needs to evolve into some semblance of the Garden of Eden. Life needs to bloom across the Earth again. Hemp is absolutely key to this global transformation. Hemp in its entirety – not just CBD. Maybe it’s possible to fix things without hemp, but quickly integrating hemp into modern life is a slam dunk.
Plant based foods go hand in hand with regenerative, organic cultivation from the ground up. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. What if fast food burgers were 25% hemp? What if the cattle were fed hemp? What if your to-go meal was packaged in hemp paper? Roundup (glyphosate) is a dangerous herbicide foisted upon farmers and consumers alike. It spearheads the use of GMO seeds which tolerate glyphosate thanks to Bayer (née Monsanto).
Today, the hemp market rewards organically grown hemp with higher prices. I daresay that a larger portion of the U.S. hemp crop is grown organically than any other crop. New hemp farmers who transition to sustainable, no-till cultivation will make more money in the short term and hopefully apply the same techniques to their whole farm.Trees have burned like never before this year. These trees need to be replaced and fewer trees need to be cut.
Now is the time to shift from tree-based paper to alternatives like hemp. What if all of those Amazon boxes and the packing material inside were made from hemp? Whenever a cashier asks if I want a paper bag, my response is: “No thank you. Not until they’re made from hemp.” It sparks a quick educational exchange and more than one business card being passed as a result. Hemp contains less than two percent ash, which means it can be pelletized and used in your wood stove. Let’s not forget hempcrete and other construction materials that don’t require lumber. Dire times indeed. But there’s hope and part of any real solution must include hemp. There’s no other plant with so many diverse uses, yet has a positive environmental impact. An added bonus is that building out these new industries will create jobs that heal the planet, instead of destroying it even more. We know what we don’t need – it’s time we build what we know will heal the planet we all call home…
COLUMN by JERRY WHITING for LEAF NATION