We make tasty food from hemp. It's healthy too. Hemp is one of the most exciting natural ingredients with all kinds of benefits.
Go into any supermarket, good food store or look in the cupboard of a kitchen savvy chef today and you will find food made from hemp seed.
It wasn't always so.
Historically, hemp seed was seen as an aid to health - a neutriceutical. You might find a small bottle of hemp seed oil in a fridge of a health food store, expensive and intended as a medicine. In fact, in much the same way 25 years ago, you would more likely find Olive Oil sold in a Chemist as an aid for earache than in a Grocer's store sold for cooking. So complete is the revolution in food over the last 30 years, that we almost forget that every dish in northern Europe began with a slab of animal fat rather than a splash of oil.
We, Henry Braham and Glynis Murray, began a small revolution in food in 2005 when we launched our first bottles of Good Oil in Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, high end delis and then Waitrose.
For us it started in 1998. Walking around the edge of a field after the first harvest of hemp we had grown for natural fibre, we spotted a plant which was left standing by mistake which had grown and matured its seed. The seed tasted delicious with a flavour similar to hazelnuts. And we became hooked on a journey that is still developing now.
As we became aware of the history and health benefits of hemp seed, we also became aware of the lack of understanding in how to produce food from hemp seed and for that matter – other ingredients with high quality healthy fats. Our mission was simple, we wanted to make tasty healthy food. It took us 6 years to develop the growing, harvesting and seed conditioning techniques suitable for Good Oil alone. It helped that we were surrounded by our neighbours who range from progressive farmers to agricultural engineers fearless of difficult challenges. All were supportive even in the most disastrous situations. Growing, harvesting and processing hemp seed needed a great deal of development to capture the clean nutty flavour and to make high quality food. And we found ourselves building our own mill to produce oil good enough for everyday cooking. Nobody had cold pressed hemp seed for culinary oil (as opposed to supplements) and although the process is beautifully simple – it was also much more complicated than the experts could imagine.
When we launched Good Oil – the world's first culinary hemp seed oil – it was acclaimed by Chefs and Nutritionists alike. In the UK, Jamie Oliver used it in his first 15 restaurant. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall experimented without fear or favour and realised that it made fantastic roast potatoes as well as a range of classic dishes. And most importantly, our first customers came back for more. Why? Because it worked as a tasty food ingredient. And it worked as a healthy food ingredient.
Good Oil is now sold in the UK, US and Continental Europe and gave us the confidence to keep developing. And that's exactly what we did and are still doing.
Since that time, all the products we make have come by the same process of dedication to finding the best way to make tasty food from hemp seed. And because the quality is so high, the unique nutritional benefits of hemp foods are uncompromised. In short, if it tastes good – it is good.