But could civilization exist on hemp alone? And what would life in this stoner utopia be like? Whoa—these are some serious questions.
Because our nation’s regular guinea pigs—U.S. military personnel—are banned from ingesting any hemp products, we enlisted ourselves to test the threshold of hempiness. We assembled a smorgasbord: hemp cereal for midafternoon breakfast, three types of hemp granola bars for days when you’re light, and hemp seeds to sprinkle like fairy dust on pizza, burritos or pizza burritos.
What we discovered: Hemp may be the ultimate cure for the munchies. With a few exceptions, hemp foods are a very, very bad use of the cannabis plant. After most of these snacks, you won’t feel like eating anything.
Despite the questionable name, these patties are surprisingly delightful. Gardenburger beware: SortaSausage patties give other meat substitutes fierce competition, with a savory, smoky flavor.Label wisdom: “Growing up I never imagined I’d one day be a vegetarian…one of many surprises!”
Hempiness: A one-hitter, as they’re more polenta than hemp.
Tasters said: “I would definitely eat this over a Gardenburger”
“This is definitely liberally spiced. It has a little bite.”
“Like a falafel patty.”
Whole Foods bulk hemp granola
Bud in bulk-food bins? These grass-green crumbles look like weed. They’re also delicious—hints of sweet date and a satisfying crunch made them a surprise favorite.Label wisdom: None, it’s sold in unmarked plastic bags.
Hempiness: Double rainbow!
Tasters said: “Is there date in here? I can taste it...kinda nice. Medjool dates.”
“It looks like kitty litter, but it’s actually good.”
“This looks like dried weed. I want to fly with this just to fuck with the TSA.”
Sequel Naturals Vega whole food energy bar
Vega bars are made from “exclusively raw, alkaline, plant-based superfoods” to boost triathlete performance. It’s endorsed by cyclists, who know their dope. It looks like Pemmican, but has a wonderful fruity sweetness.Label wisdom: “One should not have to compromise between whole food goodness and fast food convenience.”
Hempiness: Baked, as hemp is second only to dates.
Tasters said: “Most energy bars are sincerely gross; this one is much less gross.”
“In part we like it because of its calories: 240 total, 90 from fat.”
“It’s from B.C., that’s why. Canadians, man, they get it.”
Our tasting’s most mind-blowing epiphany has nothing to do with hemp. Waffles dipped in hummus are awesome. Our cart will be open by spring. But not with hemp waffles, which are sorta meh.Label wisdom: “Never synthetic preservatives or additives. Because, really, who wants any of that for breakfast?”
Hempiness: Harshing our mellow, as they’re mostly just wheat waffles with grape juice.
Tasters said: “It is the taste of bland.”
“The waffles taste like waffles. Like whole-wheat waffles.”
“Hummus and waffles belong together!”
You can drink hempmilk when you’re sick of almond and soy, but haven’t fallen so low as oat milk.Label wisdom: “THC? Never had it. Never will. There is 0.00% THC in our products.”
Hempiness: See label wisdom.
Tasters said: “The milk just tastes like milk. Whatever.”
According to scripture, manna is bread from heaven that fell from the sky to the Israelites. This explains its incompatibility with toasters. Cake-y kosher lumps will be stuck in our office toaster until judgment day.Label wisdom: “‘…moisten your wheat, that the angel of water may enter it…and the blessing…will soon make the germ of life to sprout…then crush your grain and make thin wafers as did your forefathers…’ —Essene Gospel of Peace.”
Hempiness: Made with more religion and bananas than hemp.
Tasters said: “I note that it is very fibrous.”
“Manna bread...oh god!”
“I highly recommend that anyone putting this in an upright toaster do so with great care.”
A classic diet food, rice cakes tend to taste as bland as they look. Adding the completely flavorless hemp seeds is no remedy.Label wisdom: A photo of founders Eldon, Wendell, Harlan and Homer Lundberg.
Hempiness: Rice-a-licious rice cakes, extra rice-y with rice…and hemp seed.
Tasters said: “These are regular rice cakes. I guess they have hemp seeds.”
Granola bars are perhaps the sluttiest snack, taking any flavor or ingredient into their oat-y shape. Cannabis shouldn’t feel special. While “Sunny Hemp” conjures dreams of lazing in green fields, these are fields of industrial bar production with sugar and oats.Label wisdom: “As my father Rupert used to say, ‘Always leave the Earth better than you found it.’”
Hempiness: More sugar than sunny hemp.
Tasters said: “Sure, those bars are good. I like munching on those.”
“I find them too sweet.”
Just because food should taste good doesn’t mean it does. These look, feel, taste and smell like blue-corn chips. But they are blue-corn chips devoid of their crispy, satisfying souls. Food shouldn’t try to be something it’s not.Label wisdom: “As for the name, Food Should Taste Good, it kind of wrote itself.”
Hempiness: Enough to take the gratifying crunch out of these corn chips.
Tasters said: “They taste just like regular chips.”
“Regular chips, with no crunch and no pop.”
This is the bread equivalent of a trustafarian. Its packaging screams natural, hemp-y and organic all the way. But Birkenstocks don’t make the (wo)man; and rolling wheat bread in hemp isn’t tricking us either.Label wisdom: “One of nature’s most perfect plants…known as a ‘wonder crop’ the hemp plant is abundant and environmentally sustainable.”
Hempiness: Hemp bread is hardly hemp-y.
Tasters said: “The ingredients on this revolutionary bread? After water, organic wheat flour and organic whole-wheat flour. This is wheat bread with hemp sprinkled on it.”
If happy cheese comes from happy cows, shouldn’t ice cream from cannabis be totally awesome? Well, no. With a slippery, unnerving texture, it resembles neither coffee, biscotti nor a satisfying frozen dessert.Label wisdom: “Give in to Tempt. Its luscious, indulgent taste is a temptation you can feel good about.”
Hempiness: Too hemp-y for its own good.
Tasters said: “The weirdest texture, even compared to other dairy alternatives.”
“This ice cream sucks.”
“I won’t even try that.”
A love child of nut butter and margarine, this dairy-free, nut-free alternative is also free of any appetizing flavor.Label wisdom: “Civil disobedience.”
Hempiness: Hemp is literally the only ingredient, besides civil disobedience.
Tasters said: “That green shit is disgusting. There’s no reason I would ever put that on anything.”
“No one would want this spread for anything but political reasons.”
“I just don’t understand why this exists.”
Humankind has yet to taste anything paralleling the orgasmic beauty of Nutella (except maybe hummus-dipped waffles). Wilderness Poets joins the many who have tried and failed.Label wisdom: “‘Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too was a gift.’ —Mary Oliver.”
Hempiness: Far exceeds hazelnuttiness.
Tasters said: “The mouth-stickiness is not nice. But it’s not that bad. If I had a peanut allergy, I might eat it.”
“This looks like someone has taken hazelnuts and vomited them back into the jar.”
Whole Foods bulk hemp seeds
As nondescript as nondescript gets. They are seeds: beige, small and roundish in shape. We were wrong to expect much of them. How can cannabis be so simultaneously inspiring and bland?Label wisdom: So natural they don’t even label it.
Tasters said: “These just taste like shitty almonds.”
“All that hemp seed is likely to do is make something blander.”
“The best part of the hemp plant is definitely not its seeds.”
“Erewhon” is a utopian land invented by author Samuel Butler, a supposed anagram for “nowhere.” As in, no where, no way, no how will this healthy cornflake look-alike make it into our cannabis utopia.Label wisdom: “While hemp seeds come from the cannabis plant, they do not impart any intoxicating properties.”
Tasters said: “This is fine...oh, I take that back; the aftertaste!”
“It’s like setting a rice cake on fire.”
“Seriously, like bong resin!”
Imagine every health-food trend condensed into a small, grass-colored square, with chocolate chips. Flax, epazote leaf, organic fenugreek seed, acai berry—it’s all here, with hemp.Label wisdom: “Food from nature is better than food from the lab.”
Hempiness: Stone-cold sober—it only has hemp seeds because they threw in everything remotely earthy.
Tasters said: “Wow. That is a lot of ingredients.”
“It just tastes raw”
“Superfood. Does that mean it hasn’t been cooked?”