Our hearts are not cheap. We can't apologize.
They are premium.
We know our products are not cheap, and in fact, the opposite – we are a premium brand and are proud of it. However, not all hemp hearts and hemp seed oil are the same. In fact, though all the brands may appear the same, there are typically drastic differences. We are constantly striving to increase efficiency across all parts of the hemp seed production process to reduce costs and pass those savings on to our customer. However, the industry is still in its infancy, which means we are not at economies of scale, which reduces costs for everyone. Until we all get there, we are not willing to compromise on quality to reduce cost.
Why should you care
I decided to write this post because I was in one of our retailers yesterday and noticed a new brand of hemp hearts sitting on the shelf next to ours. It was certified organic but for $2 less than our hearts. I had never heard of the brand, but was intrigued so I read the package. I couldn’t find a source statement (ie, “product of the USA” or other country). There was no story or connection to who was behind the brand and why. They claimed to partner with “so-and-so Farms” in California, which I found interesting because I am pretty connected with who is growing hemp grain in the country and knew of no farms growing grain, let alone organic, in California. I looked up the “farms” they claimed they partner with and realize that it’s actually a distributor that source from all around the world. I can’t say for certain that they are not sourcing from the USA, but if they were, they would claim it, and for the price they are selling those hearts, it’s nearly impossible for them to be coming from the USA. But, they are $2 less than our hearts and people will most likely grab that bag because most people don’t know the difference.
I’m here to tell you there is a difference. A significant difference.
When you are as connected to one product as we are (hemp seeds), you know Every. Thing. About. IT. You also care about every part of it’s life – from seed to shelf. We don’t compromise on anything from quality to environmental footprint to purpose. There will be always be cheaper versions out there, but if you care about where your food comes from, how it got to you, and the lives it impacted along the way, read on. This is why our seeds are different, better, and yes…more premium.
Our hearts are 100% American Grown
…and often hyper-regional to the PNW. If you don’t see a source country stated specifically on a brand’s packaging, it’s highly likely the ingredient or product is coming from somewhere the brand isn’t proud to share. Be aware.
Our hearts and oil are so fresh.
Check best by dates on packaging. I saw another oil on sale for a third of the cost but it expires next month! The hemp seeds grown here in the US don’t sit around because they are in demand and not enough farmers growing them. If those hearts came from another country, it’s likely they are not fresh, and even dated and stale, which we have seen in some costco brands.
We support & grow with regional farmers.
Our farm communities have dwindled to near non-existence over the decades, but hemp has revitalized farming communities and sparked interest in young farmers to get into farming. Agriculture is the foundation of food and without farmers, we don’t have food. Hemp farming here plays a role in healthy, sustainable agriculture and food systems!
We taste and test varieties and batches for flavor and consistency.
There is a lot of nasty-tasting hemp seed oil on the market. Why? Like olive oil, hemp seed oil can go rancid and often is imported that way from other countries. Also, not every hemp seed is the same, so if you crush (press) a flower variety or a batch of seed that wasn’t cleaned properly, the oil can taste bitter, dirty and unappealing. We produce known nutritional varieties that are nutty, buttery and smooth in flavor when pressed!
So, when you go to your local grocery store, ask questions of the products you are browsing to buy. Do you buy with your values? If so, read labels, ask questions and find out more about where you food comes from and the stories behind it. Usually if there is a meaningful story, there is purpose, and when a brand produces with authenticity, transparency, and purpose, there is rarely compromise for anything but the best.