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CANNABIS

Vegan hemp powder recalled on fears it gets kids high

A Vegan food firm based in Berlin has had to recall a hemp-based protein powder because it contains a level of an active ingredient in cannabis higher than recommended for young children.

Vegan hemp powder recalled on fears it gets kids high
Photo: DPA

The powder could pose a health risk to very young children, Veganz said in a statement published on lebensmittelwarnung.de on Monday.

“The recommended daily intake given on the packaging is at least 25 grams per day, meaning a THC intake of 20 micrograms,” the statement read.

THC is the psychoactive element in cannabis which can produce a state of intoxication in those who consume it.

Retailers cannot rule out that parents would give the powder to their young children, the statement continued.

A a child of 2-3 years, weighing around 15 kilos, would take in 140 percent of its recommended maximum dose of THC by consuming the suggested daily intake of 25 grams of hemp powder, the statement explained.

The product was sold through the drug store DM, with whom Veganz recently announced a nationwide expansion of their distribution deal.

Any customers who bought the product will be offered a refund of the purchase price, Veganz said.

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ASPARAGUS

Only in Germany: McDonald’s begins offering ‘Spargel Burger’

Amid Germany's famous 'Asparagus Season', the fast food chain has begun offering an unusual twist on typical ingredients.

Only in Germany: McDonald's begins offering 'Spargel Burger'
A basket of Spargel in Kutzleben, Thuringia marked the start of this year's season on April 14th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Martin Schutt

How do you know that you’re definitely in Germany? One sure fire way: when you check the menu of a McDonald’s in the springtime and see a ‘Spargel Burger’. 

Germans are so enamored by the ‘white gold’ –  special light-coloured asparagus which is much thicker than its North American green counterpart – that it’s now a featured fast food at McDonald’s Germany, and with classic Hollandaise sauce and bacon to boot. 

On Thursday, the popular American fast-food chain restaurant – which counts nearly 1,500 outlets in Germany – published a photo of the “Big Spargel Hollandaise” saying that it would be available at select restaurants. They assured customers: “Yes, it’s really there.”

But its release was met with mixed reactions. “We absolutely have to go to McDonald’s sometime,” wrote one. Yet another called the unconventional creation “perverse.”

Another commenter showed skepticism: “Hollandaise sauce on a burger? Does that even taste good?”

Others weighed in on social media to point out that the product is a sign of Germany’s fascination with the vegetable. 

The burger is the latest to join the asparagus craze, with a phallic-shaped Spargel monument in Torgau, Saxony capturing the public attention – or bewilderment – earlier in the week.

An annual tradition

Every year, Germany typically celebrates ‘Spargelzeit’ (asparagus season) from the middle of April until June 24th, which many dub ‘Spargelsilvester’ (Asparagus-New Year’s Eve). 

READ ALSO: German word of the day: Spargelzeit

The beloved vegetable, harvested heavily around the country, usually has its own special menu devoted to it at restaurants, and is sold in supermarkets – or road-side stands – next to jars of the classic Hollandaise sauce. 

The top states which grow the crop are Lower Saxony, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, but Beeliz, Brandenburg is also synonymous with Spargel in Germany. 

In normal years the tiny town hosts a sprawling festival to mark the start of the season, anointing a Spargel king and queen.

READ ALSO: Here’s why Germans go so completely crazy for asparagus

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