The next time you visit a supermarket to buy honey, you might want to make your choice a little more carefully.
You’ve heard it said that honey is amazing for your health. And that’s true. Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It boosts the immune system and acts as a powerful antioxidant.
However, if you go to a US supermarket and buy a product labeled as honey, you most likely won’t receive any of the above benefits. This is because the crystal clear liquid they sell in cute little honey bears isn’t honey at all.
What laboratory tests revealed
When Vaughn Bryant, professor of anthropology and director of Texas A&M’s Palynology Laboratory, tested dozens of ‘honey’ samples purchased at major US chains, he came to a shocking conclusion. Most of the honey purchased in the stores had ALL of the pollen removed making it impossible to tell if it was actually honey at all. In fact, even in the best case scenario, these honey products had been so heavily processed that they had lost all of their health benefits entirely.
The numbers were staggering. Over 76% of samples bought at stores like TOP Food, Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop & Shop and King Soopers had ALL of the pollen removed. But it gets worse. 100% of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had zero trace of pollen as well. And when you get honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald’s and KFC, you should be aware that it contains no pollen either.
Filtered honey – What’s the Big Deal?
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a product that has been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. Moreover, the World Health Organization points out that without pollen there is no way to determine where the honey came from and whether it is even safe for consumption.
Unfortunately, in order to keep the cost of honey low, much of the honey sold in North America comes from illegitimate sources in India and China. Analyses of such honey products have revealed that it is not uncommon to find illegal antibiotics, heavy metals, and other dangerous substances in those cute little honey bears. Not only is this ‘honey’ void of goodness, it can potentially be dangerous for your health.
So why are the honey packagers filtering their honey?
The simple answer is because American consumers have come to expect it. For those who don’t know the difference between real honey and the sweet syrup being passed off as honey, the ultra filtered honey seems more attractive. It is consistently clean and clear which makes it more appealing. But, what looks prettier and more appealing is not necessarily better for you.
If you want to experience the abundance of honey’s health benefits, you need to find a reliable source for raw honey, like BeeKing’s. Raw honey is unfiltered, therefore it is often cloudier and contains particles, such as honeycomb parts, bee pollen and propolis, which are a part of the bees’ hardworking honey-making process.
Raw Honey contains 80% natural sugars (mostly fructose and glucose), around 18% water and 2% minerals, vitamins, pollen and proteins. You might spend a little more than you are used to, but the product you are getting is a real, natural, undiluted product that is extraordinarily good for your health. And it’s fun to eat too.