Astronauts scoop up hemp cereal

EDMONTON — A small British Columbia food company has taken its hemp breakfast cereal from farmers’ markets to the International Space Station in two years.

Holy Crap, a hemp mixture added to breakfast cereal, will be shipped into orbit in December to feed Canadian astronaut and mission commander Chris Hadfield.

“Holy Crap will be in space,” said Rob MacNeil, general manager of HapiFoods Group Inc. of Sechelt, B.C.

NASA scientists have studied the hemp cereal for more than a year to see how it would fit into the astronaut’s diet. Storage room is at a minimum in space, which means the food taken into orbit must be functional and packed with nutrition.

Two tablespoons of Holy Crap are enough to give astronauts their needed morning nutrition.

“Our product is a fully complete protein, and it’s also one of the highest absorption rates,” he said.

Consumer demand for hemp food products is growing in Canada, but Americans are still wary of drug affects linked to its marijuana cousin.

“There is a stigma still attached to the product in the States,” MacNeil said. “What better endorsement can there be for hemp products than it’s feeding astronauts? If NASA doesn’t have a problem with it, how can there still be a stigma attached to it. We hope it propels the whole industry mainstream.”

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