A Short Lesson in Honey

Traditionally, honey is heated and filtered so it will remain liquid much longer. In an effort to keep honey’s natural crystallization from occurring, most commercial honey is heated and pasteurized, eliminating its fragrance and changing the chemical composition of the honey itself. Then at these high temperatures the honey is ultra-filtered. Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down with corn syrup or other sweet, non-honey products and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey – some containing illegal animal antibiotics and/or contaminated with heavy metals – on the U.S. market for years. The pollen is removed to hide where the honey came from.

• Raw honey is not heated and pasteurized like regular honey.100_4386

• Raw honey contains many antioxidants and enzymes that are destroyed during heating.

It’s during the process of pasteurization much of the nutritional content of raw honey is destroyed. Powerful antioxidants, enzymes, and vitamins are destroyed when heating is applied to raw honey. Raw honey is anti-viral, anti-fungal and antibacterial in nature, but the same cannot be said about regular honey because of the heating process that is applied. Frankly, you may as well sit down and eat from a bag of refined sugar if you’re using store bought commercial honey.

No, honey never spoils. Archaeologists have found honey in ancient Egyptian tombs that was still edible.  Bacteria cannot grow in real honey.  Its high acidity and tiny amount of naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide prevent bacteria from growing and therefore real honey never spoils. Don’t put your honey in the refrigerator, as cold temperatures speed the crystallization of honey, however, you can gently heat it in a sauce pan of water to liquefy it.  Most honey will crystallize eventually and many people prefer it that way. Spoon it into tea where it melts quickly or spread it on toast.

Raw honey contains all of the nutrients needed for good health including vitamins A, C, D, E, certain amino acids and high concentrations of B-complex vitamins. It also contains beneficial enzymes and one of these enzymes is amylase which aids in digestion of breads and other starchy foods. Raw honey’s antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can also help improve the digestive system, yet these are the very things the high heat and filtering of process destroy.

AND FINALLY – With possibly rare exceptions, commercial honey and even some you are told is locally raised, comes from hives treated with insecticides to fight the Varroa mite. These insecticides (called miticides) leave behind residues in both the wax and in the honey. Though deemed safe, do you really want an insecticide in your honey? My own honey comes from hives that are never treated with miticides. Our honey is never heated or filtered. It is pure, raw honey directly from the hive and contains all the natural nutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids and pollen of real, unadulterated honey.

Natural, raw honey takes more time and man power.  Its produced by hand.  You can buy cheaper honey, but its really honey in name only.


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