Do You Choose Pure Honey?
Would we find a jar of sweet golden honey in your kitchen pantry? Honey is used in cooking and many other ways around the home. Is the honey you are buying pure honey? And, does it matter?
Honey bees make honey. They collect plant nectar from blooming flowers and convert it into honey. Thankfully, they often produce much more honey than they need.
Producing honey is a lot of work. Both the bees and the beekeepers work hard to have a honey harvest.
Are You Buying Pure Honey ?
Are you buying pure honey ? Are you sure ? Do you expect it to be 100% pure honey and nothing else ?
If the label says “honey”, we assume that is the only ingredient inside the bottle but that is not always the case.
As a beekeeper, I believe real honey is 100% pure honey and nothing else.
Read Honey Labels Carefully
Don’t be deceived by those cute golden bears you see at the local big box store. That beautiful golden hue that draws you in may be a “non honey” substance in disguise.
Or , you may be purchasing a sweetener that contains honey plus other things. So we must consider the definition of honey.
Why Fake Honey is Big Business
Honey is one of the most adulterated foods on Earth—many companies mix it with cheaper sweeteners like sugar and corn syrup to increase the volume of product available for sale and boost profits.
Honey bees make honey and a worker bee only makes about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey during her life. This explains why a honey bee colony has so many bees inside.
Honey is money. Selling honey is big business because honey is expensive to produce.
If you watch the media, you will often see stories about honey that has been confiscated due to import problems. Most often honey from countries like China is involved.
Imported honey is more likely to have problems with purity than honey produced here in the US. Proper origin is always an issue with honey imports.
And of course, that does not mean that all honey produced and sold here is pure honey either.
How to Find Real Honey
In an attempt to force full disclosure of ingredients for the consumer, the FDA has guidelines that require honey labels to list ingredients.
You want to see a label that says PURE HONEY . Say NO to labels that list “honey blend” as an ingredient.
Unfortunately, as far as I know, the term Pure Honey has no definitive classification within the FDA. However, regulations are being reviewed that should make the honey label easier to understand.
In spite of these attempts you will still find honey that is not what it appears to be whether it contains other ingredients or has been illegally imported into this county.
We sure do not expect a label to openly declare that the product contains fake honey. And no label can guarantee the purity of the product inside the container.
Also, in the food labeling industry there is a difference between “guidelines” and “regulations”.
Honey is About Much More Than Color
Unfortunately, you can not identify pure honey by color. Pure honey can be almost clear or very dark.
Honey is made from plant nectar. The nectar source determines the color of the finished honey. In general, the darker the honey, the stronger the taste and the higher the antioxidant content.
Buckwheat honey is among the darkest, so choose it when you want to savor a strong, distinctive honey flavor.
A light colored honey such as alfalfa is best when it acts mainly as a sweetener and other stronger flavors take the lead.
Pure Local Honey
If you want local honey, you must consider where you live. Here in upstate South Carolina, I don’t see many orange groves. Therefore, I would not expect to find any local Orange Blossom honey.. LOL
Wildflower honey and maybe some Sourwood is the most typical upstate South Carolina Honeys for the localvore.
Honey doesnt have to be local to be good. Enjoy trying honey from other areas as a unique added flavor to your coffee, tea or baked goods.
Don’t be alarmed if your honey “turns to sugar”. That normal process is not a sign of bad honey. And you can decrystallize your honey without damaging it!
I have a limited amount of pure honey for sale – check out my Etsy Store.
Folks sometimes have some strange ideas regarding what honey is and is not. No matter, honey is good.