So many questions, so many brands, how do we know what to buy?
Well, I did some extensive research for you. 🙂
I will give you some basic info, I will give you links if you would like to read further, and I will post some links on where to buy the best honey!
What is honey?
According to Wikipedia:
Honey /ˈhʌni/ is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to, as it is the type of honey collected by most beekeepers and consumed by people. Wikipedia
Honey is also defined as a sugar substitute. I suppose at it’s basic store bought level it is just that, a sweetener. Raw honey, honey that has not been processed and filtered, is so much more than a sweetener. It is a food and it has amazing health benefits. It is full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals,and enzymes.
The history of honey goes back approximately 8000 years, to ancient Chinese, Egyptian, Islamic, and Biblical times. It has an extensive history as a healing substance and in many cultures that is still its use today.
Raw honey has a ‘forever’ shelf life. It does not seem to go bad. Honey, in its raw state is naturally anti microbial. It is very low moisture and few bacteria or microorganisms can survive without moisture. It is also very acidic with a PH of 3.5 to 4. This acidic state will kill off almost anything.
If you would like a bit more on the science aspect this is a nice article that gives you a bit more on the ‘why’ and ‘how’.
Want to watch a quick little video on how we get Raw Honey?
Here is one on processed honey.
Quick disclaimer: Honey should not be given to children under 1 year. Most of us are aware of the Botulism worry of giving honey to a small child. Dr. Greene has a fantastic article on this. Here is the link if you would like to read more.
- Replacing sugar with honey results in less weight gain and lower blood sugar levels.
- Provides a ready supply of energy. (Making it a great addition to your morning smoothie.)
- Honey at night time helps produce melatonin, aiding in a more restful sleep.
- Boosts your immune system.
- Contains antioxidants, vitamins, enzymes, and minerals.
- It has been shown to heal your gut. It has been used to *treat many gastrointestinal issues including, gastritis, ulcers, diarrhea, and has been shown to be anti-inflammatory to the intestinal tract. It also has an antibacterial effect on H. Pylori . *ncbi article
- The wound healing benefits of honey are amazing! Manuka Honey
- It is relatively free of adverse effects. Allergy to honey is rare.
Want a great list of uses for honey? Click here.
What kind of honey should you use? Where do you get it?
Liquid or solid?
All honey is liquid when bottled. Good quality honey will crystallize over time. The filtering and heating process is what turns honey the golden color and allows it to stay in liquid form. It also removes most of the nutritional benefits and alters the taste.
Local raw honey is said to help with allergies. Raw honey still has the bee pollen in it. This helps your immune system defend itself against seasonal allergens. Remember, once processed it no longer has the bee pollen in it. It needs to bee in raw form to be effective in this manner. You can google search for local bee keepers in your area. If you are local to Skagit Valley we have a few sources including Brookfield Farms in Bellingham and Bingalingbees here in the Valley.
Bees have a large range of flight, around 2 miles. They have been known to fly 2 to 3 times that however. That said, it is relatively hard to say honey is certified organic. The area the bees fly can be up to a 2 to 4 mile radius of the hive. That entire radius (16 square miles minimally) needs to be pesticide free.
The US does not seem to care to regulate organic honey, so it is not hard to put a sticker on your product, although this comes with a healthy fine if caught. Brookfield Farm has a great blog post on the ‘standards’ for the US. The amount of pesticides used in farming has had a very large impact on our bee community. In 2015 the reported loss of bees was at just over 40%. I encourage you to do some research on these amazing little creatures. Without bees to pollinate we will not have food to eat. We need to protect our bees.
Alright, off my ‘Bee Box’ and moving on to where to get Raw Honey. I have mentioned local sources already. But what if you really want Organic Raw Honey?
You can buy it on Amazon.
Enjoy your honey!!!!