3.13.2009

did you know...

that the government bans the raising/farming of hemp in the united states? from time to time i get really interesting articles from reusablebags.com in my inbox. this is one i thought worth passing on. an excerpt:

"Back in the 1930's, a smear campaign was created by competing industries including Paper, Petrochemical, and Cotton in order to destroy the hemp industry. A PR campaign was created to lump hemp in with marijuana and the "reefer madness" wave sweeping the nation at the time. In 1937, this pressure led the U.S. government to ban growing industrial hemp. Even though it has been proven that THC levels are far too low for a person to get high on, over 60 years later the US Government maintains a ludicrous position against growing industrial hemp to continue to benefit the powerful economic interests of these competing industries."

hemp is an awesome natural fiber--just ask any cloth-diapering mama who's ever looked to add absorbency without adding bulk. in fact the diapers that will soon be in the etsy shop will feature (in addition to organic bamboo fleece) a hidden layer of organic hemp fleece, along with 2 extra layers of OHF in the soakers--great for babies who pee lots.... like lucy!

here are some more great facts about hemp--proving why it's light years better for the earth than cotton, all taken from the reusablebags.com article:


Unlike cotton, hemp is naturally hardy and drought tolerant and grows well without herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers. Twenty-five percent of all the pesticides used in the U.S. are applied to cotton.

Its growth rate is so rapid, it is ready for harvest in only 4 months- reaching a height of 6-12 feet, and producing 3-6 tons of dry fiber per acre.

Industrial hemp is not a drug. Unlike its cousin marijuana, industrial hemp has only trace amounts of THC - the chemical that produces the high. Unfortunately, the U.S. government refuses to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp and clings to the obsolete myth that it is a drug.

Hemp fibers are one of Earth's longest, strongest and most durable fibers and several times stronger than cotton.

Hemp fibers yield superior paper with far more recycling lives than wood-based paper or cotton fibers.

Hemp fiber paper resists decomposition, and does not yellow with age when an acid-free process is used. Hemp paper more than 1,500 years old has been found.

Growing Hemp can save trees. According to the US Dept of Agriculture, one acre of hemp yields the same amount of paper pulp as four acres of trees on an annual basis.

Hemp has been shown to "eat" radioactivity at Chernobyl. Hemp is proving to be one of the best phyto-remediative plants in the world. These plants have the ability to decontaminate soil by absorbing and/or trapping pollutants ranging from radiation and pesticides to solvents and toxins leaching from landfills.

2 comments:

T.J. and Jen said...

very interesting!

Jessie said...

If you want an interesting political story about hemp, look up the PBS POV documentary called "Standing Silent Nation" about a man from the Lakota Nation who wants to grow hemp to support his family/community but keeps running into the drug enforcement administration. Lots of issues raised about hemp as amazingly useful fiber vs hemp as a recreational drug, as well as sovereign nation vs United States. Highly recommend it!
Maybe you can get the DVD from netflix or the like if you're TV is not plugged in...
so ridiculous that all of our hemp products are imported.