Posted by: Scott Stewart, LAc., Dipl.
Are you a honey lover? Do you use honey as a sugar substitute? Do you think your honey is organic? Well, I have some disappointing news for you. This weekend I was looking for a reputable company to buy royal jelly from, as well as other honey products, and discovered some things I didn’t know. The first thing I learned was that there’s no such thing as organic honey. Even if the beekeeper doesn’t use any pesticides or medicine on the hive, bees have a range of up to 7 miles in which they can pick up all kinds of chemicals and bring them back to the hive. The second thing I learned is that, even if the honey has the USDA certifying seal on the container, it means nothing. That’s right! In order to get that seal, aside from paying the fee, the manufacturer / distributer have to meet minimum standards. Unfortunately, the feds don’t have any minimum standards for the honey industry. The third thing I learned, is many times honey producers will mix lower quality honey from China and other countries in with their own, or they’ll mix other things in like artificial sweeteners, sugars, or antibiotics. The last thing I learned was that you want to buy unfiltered / unheated honey; this type of processing degrades the honey and destroys most of the nutrients.
Always check the label on your honey to make sure the ingredients are what they should be, and what country the honey originated from. From my research I found that Florida is the most proactive about regulating this industry. Canada also seems to be doing more to prevent adulterated honey from hitting the markets. Just remember, be diligent and do your homework.
To read the San Francisco Gate article I found click here.