Written by: Kat Gal
One summer when I was about 4 or 5 years old, I was only willing to eat honey on bread. Every single day. 3 meals a day.
Now, you may question my parents and why they allowed me to do this. For one, obviously, they had no clue about nutrition. For two, at least I was eating something (I wasn’t big on the ‘eating thing’ growing up).
It could’ve been worse – I was at least getting lots of nutrients through honey.
Honey is a powerful food – it is:
- Full of antioxidants
- Fights infections
- Helps with allergies
- Provides lots of energy
- Helps with sleep
Growing up in Eastern-Europe in the 1980s, my parents also had no doubt that the honey I was consuming was real, nutritious and delicious. Hungary is well-known for its good-quality honey and back then, there were no fake alternatives on the market.
This, unfortunately, is not so much the case in the United States – or much of the Western world – today.
Here comes the sad, but shocking news…
Most of the honey being sold in the United States is actually NOT HONEY.
Yep, the honey you are eating may not be honey at all…
Let me explain.
Mass produced honey that’s being sold in supermarkets is often lacking realpollen. It is artificially processed and is mostly coming from China. Honey that doesn’t have pollen is not honey! It is literally just a watered-down, super sweet and sticky substance.
To create this fake honey, they use a process called ultra filtering: they heat the honey, then water it down before pressuring it through small filters to remove the pollen.
Not too long ago, investigators found a dangerous Indian honey in U.S. grocery stores. This honey was contaminated with heavy metals and antibiotics and already banned in Europe. This Indian honey was lacking pollen as well.
To follow up and continue checking on the honey quality, the Food Safety Newstested the honey sold around the U.S. at various outlets. They conducted their investigation throughout 10 states, buying 60 different kinds of jars and other containers of honey.
The results were SHOCKING!
- 100% of honey collected at pharmacies had all pollen removed.
- 76% of honey collected at supermarkets had all pollen removed.
- 77% of honey collected at big box stores had all pollen removed.
- 100% of small, individual packs of honey collected at fast food restaurants had all pollen removed.
- BUT: 100% of honey collected at farmer’s markets, natural grocery stores and co-ops had the FULL pollen content and was real, quality honey.
What you can do to ensure you buy real, good-quality honey?
- The best option is to buy your honey at a farmer’s market from a local, trusted beekeeper and honey maker. Get in a conversation with him or her, beekeepers usually love to share all their secrets.
- The second best option is to buy it at your local natural health food store or co-op.
- You may also order good quality honey online at online health food stores.
- If you buy honey at a regular supermarket, read the labels. Check where the honey is coming from. Look for raw organic varieties, preferably in the ‘natural food’ aisle.
How To Use REAL Honey
- Add honey to your oatmeal, granola and fruit salads.
- Add a tablespoon or two of honey to your green smoothie or green juice.
- Sweeten your tea or chai with honey.
- Use honey instead of syrup on your pancakes and waffles.
- Use honey as a natural sweetener in your raw desserts and baked goods.
What is your favorite way to use honey? Share below, we would love to hear your tips and recipes!