Honey: The Good and The Bad

Do you use store bought honey that comes in a little plastic bear? Or put honey from the coffee shop in your tea? You might want to rethink using the readily available and inexpensive honey.

A recent study conducted by the Food Safety News found that most honey isn’t honey at all.

You see, in order for honey to be called honey, it must contain pollen. What this study showed was that in most store bought honey’s, the pollen frequently has been filtered out.

What’s the big deal about pollen?

Well, when the pollen is removed (via a high tech process that in and of itself is beyond far from natural) the quality and purity of the honey is greatly compromised. For instance in Europe, Indian honey is banned (but it sells here in the US) because it is highly filtered, contaminated with antibiotics, heavy metal and contains zero pollen.

Yikes!

In total, Food Safety News purchased more than 60 jars, jugs and plastic bears of honey in 10 states and the District of Columbia. This is what they found:

• 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.

• 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.


So what to do?

Buy locally harvested unprocessed raw honey from your farmer’s market, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods or local health food store. This type of honey is definitely more expensive, but when I tell you it’s good… it is GOOD! And, on top of it, it has tremendous health benefits.

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