I stumbled across this interesting article the other day that says most honey you buy in the store isn’t honey! What do you mean it isn’t honey, I wondered…..
We LOVE to process things- not just in the United States, but all over the world. When honey is ultra-processed, with the intention of removing the pollen (for what purpose I have no idea) there is no way to trace the honey back to its origin and determine whether or not it is honey, or if it is safe. The process that occurs in the U.S. is similar to the one the Chinese use and includes highly heating the honey, watering it down, and filtering out the pollen. The Chinese have used illegal antibiotics in their honey during this process, and it can be found on our grocery aisles!
It seems that honey manufacturers believe consumers need their honey to be crystal clear, and that is why they have chosen to filter out all of the pollen. But why? The more filtered the honey, the more the quality goes down! Filtering does only one thing and that is to hide the origin or the honey- which in most cases turns out to be China. As honey arrives from China there are no inspections before it reaches our shelves. China has been pulling some sneaky tricks to get their honey into the U.S., and it is definitely worth reading about: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isnt-honey/.
Like many of our foods, honey is more beneficial to the body when not processed. Honey has ‘good bacteria’, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents as well. Honey also helps to raise antioxidant blood levels, and may help to lower cholesterol. It is a great alternative to other sweetners and works very well for baking. Additionally, when you do use raw honey, you can be sure that it hasn’t been bleached or chemically created like many of the sweeteners on the market today.
One sure-fire way to make sure your honey hasn’t been plagued by antibiotics, metals, or fillers is to purchase locally! Keeping bees has had a resurgence, and it is fairly easy to find local honey all across the country. Many cities even allow the keeping of bees, so rooftop or garden hives can be found in many places. And it isn’t all about the sweet goodness they produce, they also pollinate about 15% of our food crops!
So take a minute to look into purchasing local honey- or better yet, start your own hive!