When it comes to honey, all choices are definitely not equal. Know what matters before you purchase your next jar.
1. Know the origins of your honey.
In the U.S., the honey on our grocery store shelves is notorious for false labeling practices. Chinese honey comes into the market acquiring labeling through other countries (to avoid tariffs), and has been known to be heavy in pesticides*. YUCK.
I fell for a less than straight forward label just the other day. It said organic and raw. That's what we want, right? Well, it turns out the U.S. doesn't have guidelines for "raw" so the word means very little when applied to a honey label. It may still be processed despite it being called raw.
When I started caring more about the foods I ate I became aware that food labeling fraud is real and honey is in the top list of fraudulent products out there**.
2. True organic raw honey is not processed, heated, or filtered.
Did you realize that the majority of the honey you find in the store is processed and all the good stuff is basically stripped out of it - the good bacterias, pollen, and other bits?
And that fillers, even high fructose corn syrup can be added?
When it comes to honey, golden and syrupy is not a good thing. What we want is solid and cloudy.
3. Do not feed any honey to children under 1 year old.
I am all about food safety. The botulinum bacteria is present and can be toxic to developing digestion systems. Or in the weak. From what I see this is rare but possible, so just keep this rule in mind when it comes to honey.
What it comes down to is find a honey product you know you can trust and stick with it. Support a local bee farm.
I use Y.S. Organic
*Food Fraud and “Economically Motivated Adulteration” of Food and Food Ingredients
Specialist in Agricultural Policy
January 10, 2014
Congressional Research Service Report
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
**"Records in the USP database indicate that the leading reported types of fraud by specific ingredient among the database’s scholarly records (1980-2010) were: olive oil (16%), milk (14%), honey (7%), saffron (5%), orange juice (4%), coffee (3%), and apple juice (2%)."
J.C. Moore, J. Spink, and M. Lipp, “Development and Application of a Database of Food Ingredient Fraud and Economically Motivated Adulteration from 1980 to 2010,” Journal of Food Science, Vol. 77, Nr. 4, 2012