Apr 12, 2022 - Economy

Yum! It's hemp.

A beet patty with organic brown rice, pea protein, sesame seeds, organic hemp and sunflower seeds, topped with Dijon vegenaise and alfalfa sprouts.

The Copper Burger from Copper Branch in Fort Lauderdale features a beet patty with brown rice, pea protein, sesame seeds, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds, topped with Dijon vegenaise and alfalfa sprouts. Photo: Michael Mayo/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

One of the top food trends, according to the Specialty Food Association? Hemp.

What's happening: Hemp seeds "have become a popular health food for their protein, fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and other nutrients," Allrecipes tells us — and reminds us that while hemp comes from the same species of plant as cannabis, it won't get you high.

  • Hemp seeds "taste similar to sunflower seeds, somewhat like pine nuts, and a little like walnuts too."

Driving the news: The Specialty Food Association (SFA) identified hemp as a standout at its Winter Fancy Food Show, where hemp cropped up in alternative burgers, dressings and as an ingredient in chocolate.

  • "Hemp emerged as a star ingredient rich in protein, healthy fats, and essential fatty acids, as well as a sustainable crop," the trade group wrote.

Other trends the SFA spotted: Dates are proliferating as snacks and as sweeteners, and peppers of all heat levels are cropping up as well.

  • "Snacks with benefits" are a thing, "from nutrient-rich chocolate bars to pizza crust made from carrots."
  • So are "alternative comfort foods," like chickpea butter and cream cheese made from sunflower seeds.
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