Corporate revenue takes the front seat once again! Even something as natural and traditionally revered as honey has to be processed until it is no more the health thing it once was.
Food Security News performed tests of honey cost numerous outlets in 10 states and the District of Columbia. The honey was analyzed for pollen material by a leading mellisopalynologist (private investigator of pollen in honey). The results? 76% of total samples had all pollen taken out. 100% of samples packaged in little specific parts had all pollen taken out. In contrast, all the honey bought at farmers markets, co-ops and natural food shops had the complete, expected, amount of pollen.
Why does this matter? Even the U.S. FDA states that any item that has been ultra-filtered to get rid of all pollen is not honey. Not that matters, as the FDA is a good friend to market and does not really look for pollen.
Bee pollen has lots of protein, vitamins, minerals, lipids, and carbohydrates. Besides this dietary value, it is said to help with stomach ailments, allergies, anemia, low energy, and other issues. Pollen from flowers is packaged by the honey bees with nectar and enzymes which turns it into a superfood.
The fact that pollen is removed by honey packers seems unusual, considering that it costs money and decreases quality. One company spokesperson said "North American shoppers desire their honey crystal clear" (an useless sound bite) and another said "processed honey ... lasts longer on the racks" (admitting it has to do with the cash).
It is about the money, and it goes far deeper than life span. Removing all pollen makes the origin of the "honey" undetected. This allows packers to take honey from anywhere in the world, consisting of China. A couple of years ago it was discovered that imported Chinese honey was polluted with chloramphenicol and other hazardous animal prescription antibiotics. U.S. packers import about 120 million pounds of honey from Asian nations, several of which are understood laundering points for Chinese honey.
Routine filtering to eliminate bee parts, wax, and debris is a normal procedure. There is no need to do ultra-fine filtering except to remove pollen. Without the pollen there is no sure way to tell where honey originates from. The big-name business like the Sioux Honey Association which markets Sue Bee, Clover Maid, and others do not care to even discuss the concern.
However, Golden Heritage Producers, the nation's third biggest packer, says they take preventative measures to prevent washed Chinese honey. A spokesperson stated, "The brokers know that if there's an absence of all pollen in the raw honey we will not purchase it, we will not touch it, because without pollen we have no other way to verify its origin." Nevertheless, Golden Heritage still gets rid of all pollen in order to, as they state, increase service life.
So it seems that the huge corporations offering their "honey" on supermarket racks do not desire pollen in the product. Is it any coincidence that do not have of pollen leaves the origin undetectable, and that only one packer stated they take safety measures to prevent laundered Chinese honey?
It seems a horrible shame to subject honey-- a fantastic natural item valued for centuries-- to the greed of corporate manufacturing, eliminating the important things that makes it real honey.
We can combat this practice by purchasing honey made from local beekeepers and buying from packers that promise their dedication to healthy, pollen-rich honey.
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