This Small New York Farm Is Dominating the Hemp-Food Trend – Grub Street

Posted: July 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm


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They had to get DEA permission to even plant the seeds. Photo: underworld111/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Theres a farm in upstate New York that grows cannabis with Governor Cuomos blessing, but plot twist: The leaves wont get you high. Thats because theyre hemp, which is like diet Cannabis sativa, and the 100 acres worth that JD Farms grows is used specifically for organic food products a suddenly trendy industry that Cuomo himself predicts could bring billions to the state. JD Farms already sells its salad mixes, hemp pastas, and cold-pressed hempseed oil to an impressive clientele that includes Estela chef Ignacio Mattos, Whole Foods, and small-batch Brooklyn pasta-maker Sfoglini.

Many people treat hemp as quasi-legal, but its a darling of the nutrition industry, which views it as a superfood equal to flax and chia seeds. Only soybeans have more protein, and hemp can supposedly boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and suppress appetite. It also contains 20 amino acids, and a lot of omega-3s and -6s. Unlike marijuana, it has only trace amounts of THC by law, less than 0.3 percent and is better known for the incredibly strong fibers used in ropes, 90s jewelry, and Rainbow-brand sandals. But hemp-food companies are mostly after the seeds, which can be pressed into oil, processed into flour, or even shelled and sprinkled raw over yogurt. JD Farms got its break because one of its co-founders, DanDolgin, is a pro at lobbying lawmakers, after years navigating D.C.s federal bureaucracy (he worked in counterterrorism, of all things). Cuomo signed a bill saying its cool to grow hemp, and last March, JD Farms became New Yorks first farm to grow it in over 80 years. (It had to install an armed guard to plant the seeds.)

Hemps fans arent struggling to find culinary uses. Mattos says JD Farms leaves are grassy and sweet, and hes using them to garnish dishes like the Ibrico pork above. He also adds the oil to tomatoes and mozzarella, and is putting the seeds in desserts.At Sunday in Brooklyn, theyre in the spiceblend for chef Jaime Youngs fried chicken. Finally, a baby-greens salad mix is debuting at Whole Foods stores in the Northeast at the end of this month. Its a combo of JD Farms hemp leaves and kale from Long Island producer Satur Farms. Bloomberg reports its vaguely reminiscent of pot and has a lemony, almost minty flavor.

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This Small New York Farm Is Dominating the Hemp-Food Trend - Grub Street

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Written by simmons |

July 11th, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Posted in Organic Food