“So…..how do you milk hemp” asks my father…..obviously sarcastically but also somewhat mockingly. I roll my eyes, throw up my hands and give up trying to explain to my family why I am going to attempt to make hemp milk at home.
But they are not alone in their teasing. Roommates, friends and even my fiance’s parents have teased me about my burgeoning interested hemp milk and other dairy alternatives including rice and almond milks.
I am not lactose intolerant, nor am vegan. I love cheese more than (almost) anything on this planet. But I also happen to enjoy a hemp-milk chai in the morning also.
What really confuses me is that these are not trendy new foods made famous by a skinny starlet-these items have been staples of diets around the world for centuries.
In South Africa, babies are weaned on a hemp-based cereal, in China roasted hemp seeds are sold in movie theaters and throughout history the benefits of hemp oil has been touted in traditional medicine. Almond milk has been used throughout the world since the Middle Ages (it was recommended as a milk substitute during fasting days) and rice milk has used as a substitute for those with lactose intolerance for years.
So why is there so much ignorance surrounding these options given that we live in a time in which it seems everyone is obsessed with avoiding pesticides and hormones in their foods?
Have we become so distanced from our food that we no longer remember the foods that fed out ancestors for centuries?
 Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, Udo Erasmus, Alive Books, December 1993