January 19, 2011

Restaurants Serving Agricultural Hemp Foods Improve Quality of Life

The oldest known food catering establishments dated as far back as the Song Dynasty (960-1279) whose paper money economy and healthy middle class allowed them to cater to the residents who lived there as well as travelers. All other examples of eating establishments came in the form of Inns and catered to the weary traveler. Though located in busy areas, the local residents were not patrons of these establishments. 
The word Restaurant comes from the French Word Restaurur meaning “a food which restores”.  The first restaurants emerging in Europe, specifically France, Spain and England in the 16th and 17th centuries served food family style or as buffets bringing people together to share a common meal. Waiters did not begin carrying around platters of food as a part of service until the beginning of the 18th century around the same time patrons began choosing items from a menu. 
Throughout history, restaurants and eating establishments have provided nourishing social experiences locally and abroad. Community meetings are held in these spaces as well as personal and business engagements, making restaurants the backdrop for memorable human interactions. At this point there are so many restaurants in so many places many no longer eat at home preferring the convenience of a well cooked meal without having to deal with the business of making it. Serving a meal for people is an art that spans time and centuries, but today’s market is competitive and saturated.
It must be difficult to own and operate a restaurant. Politics, society and misinterpretations of what is real and healthy shape the decision businesses have to make.  Tough times means cutting costs wherever possible and restaurants often times are forced to compromise quality products used in the foods served just to keep the lights on. To make matters more gloomy, today’s degrading economy brings health articles advising people not to eat out to avoid health issues and reports of families cutting their entertainment budgets to make ends meet.  
What can a restaurant do to stand out in a sea of dining choices? Old marketing models sell atmosphere and service, friendly staff and discounts for large quantities of food. These models do not fit in a World where people care about what they eat. The staff can be as nice as they want, but ultimately, if the food lacks nutrition, there is no value in what’s being offered to the community. 
Agricultural Hemp provides a solution. Hemp Seeds and Oils provide all of the amino acids, Omega 3 and 6’s and numerous other necessary nutrients the body needs to function properly. One is able to get the complete recommended daily supply in less than 3 Tablespoons of seed, oil or protein powder. On a molecular level, the proteins supplied by hemp rid the body of bad cells and replace them with new functioning cells daily. All of that and it’s organic, glutton free and hypoallergenic. 
Hemp Flour, Hemp Oil, Hemp Protein Powder and Hemp Seeds are easy to use as substitutions in recipes already served on the menu or inspire something new! Restaurants are able to boast the healthiest food in the market and the community benefits all the way down to the cellular level. It’s easy to produce effective, truthful marketing copy when the food served improves the quality of life in such a personal way. Mission statements should reflect the restaurants desire to serve food allowing them to live up to the standards the French name implies when defined as “a food which restores”. 
Consumers have been known to choose healthier products and services over destructive ones. They have proven the value of focusing on buyers needs and many businesses have endured the downturn of the economy because of their commitments to the good of the communities they serve. This is the year to try something new and Agricultural Hemp Foods are a perfect way to show appreciation for your customers and communities as a whole. What could be more sustainable than that? 

January 16, 2011

Farmers Markets and Cannabis: A Perfect Fit!

Farmers Markets go back as far as townships and villages. Farmers from rural areas brought their goods to be sold at central markets where blacksmiths and Craftsmen also showed their handmade household goods to festival goers. People traveled great distances to stock up on basic needs and meet merchants willing to trade goods and services.  Attending market days allowed the traveler to purchase exotic goods foreign to their homes. Markets serve as a showcase for local culture and traditions.
Modern Times bring industrial grocery stores, convenient and impersonal, but an established way of distributing food and household items. Farmers Markets would be a faint, distant memory were it not for the efforts of activists preserving local organic farmers. Today the United States has more than 5,000 known Farmers Markets. Each of these coveted local gems has the character and personality of the region and people who frequent it.
This market model is a perfect match for the cannabis plant. Besides the most obvious reason, this medicine is a plant; Markets bring the best of local distributers and bakers together, showcasing them in one location. Not every patient has smoked pot. Many have just been diagnosed and are learning the benefits of cannabis as a reaction. It is difficult to know what is right when inundated with information foreign to the recipient. Patients must create a relationship directly with the cannabis plant. Markets place patients in contact with businesses providing safe access close to home. Consultants are readily available to assist with every aspect of medicinal cultivation and consumption, including resources to help understand local laws and regulations.
With this in mind, Jeremy Miller created the first Cannabis Farmers Market in Tacoma Washington. It started with just 6 vendors and has grown substantially in 2 months to more than 30 vendors and hundreds of patients. “These are farmers growing agricultural medicine, so it seems like a no-brainer.” said Jeremy Miller, organizer and owner of Sacred Plant Medicine, “It’s a place where people can network with other patients in similar situations.” Today, patients will be able to enjoy Cannabis Farmers Markets in two locations, Seattle and Tacoma, WA.
In addition to market events, CFM chose NING, an exciting marketing tool combining social media components with traditional website solutions resulting in a strong community of patients helping patients. Be a part of a community in tune with your medicine. Make your profile today!
www.cannabisfarmersmarkets.com.  For more on individual social network media visit www.ning.com.

January 05, 2011

Cannabis Resolutions in the New Year

I was born in 1974, the year Nixon left office. Somewhere in my late teens, I realized my Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was toxic and the Smurfette Big Wheel, which I loved, was made by a little Kid is Asia for 2 cents a day. I don’t think they make much more 35 years later.  Since then, you wouldn’t believe the amount of information I have taken in and processed. Governments are spending more money on guns, missiles and warplanes than basic services for their people. Our food is toxic on purpose. Corporations focus on the bottom line, destroying lives and entire eco-systems to see it grow. The really rich continue to violate the really poor. All of our financial systems are non-sustainable. Our air and water, the very things we need to survive are polluted. The list goes on and I haven’t scratched the surface. It’s enough to drive a person mad.
I learned to build up my filters and decipher truth from subtle lies. I joined anti war groups and attended rallies, marching with thousands of individuals dedicated to ending commodity wars fought on our dime and in our name. Eventually, I had to look for solutions or be lost in the vastness of problems humans face today. I had to focus on something with the potential to save the World. I found this solution in the Cannabis Plant.

Let’s back up a bit. At this point in my life, I had no formula of my own for defining certain ideas and character traits for myself. I listened with a mild disdain to business people justifying their bad business practices with statement like “It’s not personal, It’s just business.” I watched rich people with empty lives save for the inanimate petroleum products surrounding them tell me I should be “Locking and Loading” and “Going for the Gold”. I was stepping back and looking for true meaning, in spite of society and Webster’s twisted word combinations for what we should know today. What did sustainable business really mean? What was honorable? What character traits did I want listed on my Tombstone, Rich in Gold or Rich in Spiritual Merit?
Careful reflection and a few heated conversations at the local pub later, I figured out a base philosophy for how I would get up every day and do things in my life. This would become the common denominator I would use to clarify definitions of things I find or create in my life. No matter what, I would try my best to honor life. Now I just had to figure out what that meant.
The Cannabis Plant honors life in every way, each molecule working to improve the quality of life of all natural things and beings surrounding it. It cleans the air, the soil, the human body. You can build your house with it, put it in a diesel engine and drive, replace petroleum as the base product in all plastics making them biodegradable  and non-toxic, eat it, sleep on it, wear it… the list goes on and on. The plant doesn’t need toxic chemicals to grow and leaves no deadly residue on the Earth when processed. The cannabis plant does so much for the Human Race, it’s unimaginable it would be illegal to produce and use.
Every Human Being has an Endo-Cannabinoid System, built in receptors in the brain and immune system. We are wired for Cannabis. Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years, so why are we not reversing devastating and ineffective prohibition laws and once again restoring cannabis to American society and marketplaces?
Of course there is more to business than mere selection.  It’s not enough to merely choose a product that honors life. Business practices surrounding the Cannabis plant will not succeed unless they too honor the life of the people and natural things growing and producing the plant.
All of the business models we have as examples are not sustainable as they focus on the bottom line, no matter the consequences suffered to grow their profits. The markets have degraded our commodities, taking them from the land in non-sustainable ways and storing harvests, so they can produce more of a demand, reason enough to raise prices and further increase their profit margins.  There is no longer room in business for practices like these. If we as business owners and medical providers do not use this opportunity to redefine business as we know it, this commodity will end up serving the greedy. What can we do? I think it’s time to define sustainable for ourselves.
I have decided my New Year’s Resolutions will be focused on creating sustainable visions personally and professionally. I will get up every day and figure out ways I can honor life, helping anyone I meet with the same basic intentions.  I will be more forgiving and tolerant with those stuck in old perceptions, lost in the thinking we have to be dishonest to get ahead.  We are blessed to be filled with truth and knowledge, united around the same source of light, the Cannabis Plant. May we all see an end to prohibition this year and ultimate unity! Happy 2011!