|Tesco Plc, the biggest U.K. food retailer, will this month start selling a handmade snack bar made up of ingredients including seeds of the hemp plant, known as cannabis when grown for use as an illegal drug.|
The seeds have been treated to ensure that they can't be used for cultivation, a spokeswoman for Wholebake Ltd., the bar's maker, said today. The 9 Bar contains seeds including sunflower, poppy and pumpkin as well as hemp and all nine essential amino acids, an e-mailed statement shows.
Hemp has been grown for more than 10,000 years and can be used for industrial purposes including textiles, paper and auto parts, the Web site of the Occidental, California-based Hemp Industries Association shows. The plant's seed is a legal food product in the U.K., according to online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
Wholebake, located in Corwen, Wales, sold 2.2 million 9 Bars last year and is on track to sell 3 million this year, the spokeswoman said. The bars, which contain no wheat, gluten, hydrogenated fats or artificial colors and flavors, will be stocked in 350 of Tesco's stores starting July 19. They'll cost 69 pence each or 1.79 pounds ($3.30) for a pack of three.
Hemp seed is low in saturated fats and can cut cholesterol and fortify heart and lung systems, according to the association. The seed's oil is used in foods including sauces, salad dressings and pesto, its Web site shows. U.S. presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson cultivated hemp, the association said.
The 9 Bar also is sold by retailers including J Sainsbury Plc and the Holland & Barrett natural-foods chain.