I've learned some fascinating information about bees and honey that I'd like to share... An average beehive contains about 20,000 - 60,000 bees. Beehives are highly organized into a natural working system of collective contribution. It's their driven obsession & in their genetic makeup to pollinate, gather nectar, & condense the nectar into honey.
To produce just one pound (0.45kg) of honey, the average hive of 20,000 - 60,000 bees visits millions of flowers & travels the equivalent of 2 times around the world. During its short life (several weeks), a honey bee's contribution to the hive is a tiny 1/12 (one twelfth) of one teaspoon!!!
Now. Did you know most of the honey in the grocery store isn't even real honey?
Yep. Sorry. I know... It was a big blow to me also. I think I may have shed a tear or two :(
After doing some research on this, my findings were *once again* backed up by what John A. Widtsoe said in his Word of Wisdom book back in 1937. (Sad, it's probably much worse now than when the book was written). Here were his words: "More subtle adulterations, much more difficult to trace, are now employed.....Glucose is mixed with a trifle of honey and sold as pure honey."
Now take a look at this:
More than 75% of the honey you purchase from super markets is NOT what bees produce. According the food manufacturers, their customers prefer the look of clear honey, so they filter out the pollen (where the nutrients are!) to make it more aesthetically pleasing. (They do this to vinegar, juices, & olive oil also, if you weren't aware...)
Even more frustrating is this: More & more brands of honey contain high fructose corn syrup! Yet these bottles say "Natural Honey" or "100% Natural Honey" on them.
Dr. Joseph Mercola's book "Sweet Deception" outlines the process of 24 hour, round the clock forced honey production. There are many bee farms in North America that produce 2/3 of honey by force feeding their bees high fructose corn syrup. Talk about dishonest! Much of what we are getting from the grocery stores is NOT real honey.
Did you know that real raw honey in its natural state is medicinal? It has MANY healing properties. (More on this in another post) - Most honey from the super market will not provide these medicinal benefits.
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A friend of mine recently wrote to Golden Heritage Foods asking them about their honey. Here's their conversation & then my response to the whole thing...
MY FRIEND'S LETTER TO GHF:
"Hi. I have been buying your honey from Costco for a while now and I just found out about "ultra-filtered" honey. Ultra-filtered honey has been processed so that all the pollen has been filtered out. I am just wondering if your company does this? I looked on your website and couldn't find any information about this so I thought I'd ask. I don't want my honey "ultra-filtered". I use honey on a very regular basis and this process concerns me. I hope I haven't been feeding my family honey that is less than pure. Thank you for your time."
GOLDEN HERITAGE FOODS RESPONSE:
"Thank you for contacting Golden Heritage Foods. All of our honey is micro-filtered honey.
If you should have additional questions, please feel free to let me know."
Media Specialist. Marketing Support
Golden Heritage Foods, LLC
120 Santa Fe Street
Hillsboro, KS 67063
GHF is now True Source Certified 100% Traceable Honey
MY THOUGHTS ON GHF'S RESPONSE:
Traceable origin (as stated at the end of her response) is one thing. Nutritionally depleted (virtually no pollen) is another.
Here’s the difference in particle size between the 2 filtration processes:
Micro Filtration: Membranes with a pore size of 0.1 – 10
Ultra Filtration: Membranes with a pore size of 0.001 – 0.1
(Notice the bottom of micro & top of ultra are the same number. Hmmm... Your honey could be borderline & you wouldn't even know it.)
***You want your honey Macro-filtered at very most. This is the least invasive filtering process & mainly removes bee parts or large particles/debris.
If it’s micro filtered, it is not raw.
If it’s ultra filtered, it’s not raw.
Real raw honey should only be filtered at most through a fine sieve or cheese cloth to remove debris, bee parts, etc... (those words via the mouth of a bee keeping professional himself)
Burleson’s Honey (a different company) got a bit fluffed up & posted a large article on their website about this issue.
They said this: “Honey is made by bees out of nectar, not pollen. Pollen is a by-product of the honey bees gathering nectar. Pollen clings to the bees during the collection of nectar and is inadvertently transferred to the honey.”
Of course it’s made out of nectar - Duh! But the nectar and pollen BOTH are what makes honey so nutrient dense with loads of healing properties!
What an amazing thing for God to do for us... He causes the healing pollen to cling to the bees, then “inadvertently” (definition: without knowledge or intention) causes it to mysteriously transfer to the honey – for our benefit!
Burleson also said this in their article: “The majority of U.S. honey packers do not use Ultra-filtering as it causes what is known by the FDA as a “substantial transformation” of the product identity into a sweetener that does not retain the identity of honey. Filtering raw honey using Ultra-filtration methods, and calling the end product “honey” is illegal and unethical.”
Guess what else they said: “Honey is filtered so it is aesthetically pleasing to the consumer and ensures the honey remains fluid for a longer period of time. Filtering removes bee parts, wax and solids, including the majority of pollen that can hasten crystallization."
Hello! Contradiction, & admitting to exactly what I'm writing about! They just buried themselves in THAT hole - (((eye roll...)))
Vaughn Bryant, a professor at Texas A&M University (and one of the nation's premier melissopalynologists - or investigators of pollen in honey) did an investigation for Food Safety News... Here were their findings:
• 76 percent of samples bought at groceries had all the pollen removed. These were stores like TOP Food, Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop & Shop and King Soopers & others.
• 100 percent of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen.
• 77 percent of the honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, Target and H-E-B had the pollen filtered out.
• 100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald's and KFC had the pollen removed.
• Bryant found that every one of the samples Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and "natural" stores like PCC and Trader Joe's had the full, anticipated amount of pollen (raw).
HERE is the link to the full article and a chart with the brands that have had most or all
of the pollen removed... (ie: No longer real pure raw honey)
Unfiltered (strained only) honey is the real thing. Raw honey will crystallize over time. All you need to do is place it in a super warm/hot water bath & wait a few minutes. Don't use the microwave, if you want to keep it raw, because doing so will kill live enzymes & break down minerals.
BENEFITS OF RAW HONEY:
Local raw honey consumed daily can also help to build up immunity to local pollen = Up to 90% REDUCED ALLERGIES!
Raw honey has antibacterial & antifungal properties. It can be used to help heal injuries, skin eruptions (acne), etc.
Raw honey has moderate anti-tumor & anti-mestatic effects.
Raw honey cleans teeth & can stop bleeding gums. It also helps canker sores, blisters, & mouth ulcers.
Raw honey nourishes & moisturizes hair & skin.
Raw honey helps nervous disorders including insomnia (Take 1 tsp. honey in warm water & drink before bed)
Raw honey is an excellent preservative! It has been found in ancient tombs & was used to preserve bodies as well as food (retards spoilage & keeps food moist)
Raw honey has anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, & expectorant properties to help with respiratory problems
Raw honey is GREAT for burns, rashes, & abrasions! Bacteria cannot live in honey!
Raw honey does not ferment in the stomach. It aids in digestion & works as a laxative. It's also helpful for ulcers & gall bladder disease. It also stops the growth of bacteria with cause ulcers.
Raw honey helps raise antioxidant levels & reduce risk of damage by free radicals. It helps build your immune system.