Organic Consumers Association

"Natural" Energy Bars, Soy Powders, & Cereals Hexed by Hexane--AToxic Chemical


17 July

Nutiva, a Northern California manufacturer of hemp food products, this week announced the availability of its latest innovation, Organic Hemp Protein Powder. The new product is an organic food containing 37% protein, 43% fiber, 0% net carbs, 9% beneficial fats (omega-3,-6, and ­9 plus GLA), chlorophyll, vitamin E and iron. The new entry in protein powders can be enjoyed with juice or fruit for power-packed smoothies or used as a low-carb flour substitute in baking.

³We¹re very excited about this new product, which has taken over a year to research and develop², says Nutiva founder and president John W. Roulac. ³Natural food buyers indicate that our Organic Hemp Protein Powder will revolutionize the industry¹s protein category², he adds. ³It¹s low-carb and superior protein profile, and the fact that it¹s hexane-free, makes it the Gold Standard of Plant Protein,² notes Roulac.

Nutiva is one of the only protein powders on the market which proudly displays the USDA organic symbol. Hemp¹s superior 66% edistin and 33% albumin protein structure is the highest in the plant kingdom. Hemp can be eaten raw, whereas soy protein requires high heating or fermentation to destroy various anti-nutritional qualities such as phytic acids.

Roulac wondered why soy burgers and soymilk are organic but soy protein isolate is not. In researching this question he discovered that non-organic soy protein isolate is often processed with hexane, a petroleum solvent similar to gasoline. Traditionally, natural food manufacturers have used only expeller pressed oils and fats that do not involve the use of hexane in the crushing process. Yet the resulting ³residual soy meal² is utilized in many soy powders, cereals, and bars sold in the natural food stores.

Besides being a potential health hazard in food, hexane is a significant greenhouse gas. A quick research on Google for ³hexane in soy foods² is a real eye opener. ³Hexane is an industrial waste by-product of gasoline production and it¹s use in producing healthy foods seems very strange to me², says Roulac. Soy crops are also heavily sprayed with herbicides, often applied 10 or more times in a season.

Due to these health concerns and hemp¹s many health benefits, increasing numbers of health-conscious shoppers are incorporating hemp foods into their diets. ³At Nutiva, we¹re organic advocates who believe our actions demonstrate to our customers our commitment to a healthy world.² Adds Roulac.

Hemps foods continue to be legal to consume in America. On October 9, 2001, Nutiva, along with the Hemp Industries Association, sued the United States DEA in the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The industry has won three legal victories in a row, including a June 2003 verdict striking down the DEA¹s rules. A final decision is expected in 2004.


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