Is there anything you can’t do with industrial hemp? Turn its fiber into paper or cloth? Yep. Eat its oil or seeds? You can do that, too. Smoke it? Well, you can, but you won’t get the desired effect: industrial hemp has only trace amounts of THC (the active ingredient in hemp’s cousin, marijuana). One thing you definitely can’t do: grow it in the United States. Despite the multiple potential uses (almost all of which create a much smaller environmental footprint than conventional materials), it’s still illegal to farm industrial hemp here.
If you’ve done any volunteering in homeless shelters or soup kitchens, you know that these institutions have to focus on stretching their dollars to feed as many people as possible… so organic and/or local produce may be out of the question. Santa Barbara’s Organic Soup Kitchen, a “relatively new non-profit,” takes a different approach to feeding the hungry: their mission statement proclaims that “…no person regardless of financial status shall compromise the quality of food they feed themselves or their family.”