Do You Know Your Honey?
How much do you know about your honey? Do you buy it at the super market or do you buy it local?
- Did you know that a high percentage of super market honey is not actual honey? It is actually contains added sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup and brown rice syrup.
What is raw honey?
- Raw honey comes straight from the honeycomb. We filter it to remove the small bits of debris. There can be interesting things that get caught in the filters. Bees bring in all kinds of things to their hives. Most of the time we just filter out pollen, beeswax, and parts of dead bees. Raw honey is not pasteurized.
- The color of raw honey can vary depending on the time of the year and types of flowers available for the bees to pollinate.
- There are also added health benefits. Bee pollen has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. There are also vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants.
- There have been studies done that shown honey has antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory effects, antibacterial and antifungal action and pain-relieving properties.
- Pasteurization exposes the honey to high temperatures which gives it a clear and smooth look. The pasteurization process improves the honey’s appearance, increases its shelf-life, and kills yeast cells that can affect the taste of the honey.
The concern is that the pasteurization process reduces the number of antioxidants and nutrients in the honey although there are few studies that have compared the two specifically in honey. Studies show that the heating processes decreases the antioxidant level in other foods.
- It is always important to note that both raw and regular honey may contain tiny amounts of a bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria can cause botulism, which is a rare form of food poisoning.
- Honey is safe for most people over 12 months of age. However, infants 12 months of age and younger should not eat any honey, including raw and regular honey. A baby’s digestive tract has not yet developed enough to fight off the bacteria.
- In rare cases, people who have a severe pollen allergy may react to raw honey, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. People who have severe pollen allergies should speak with a doctor or allergist before eating or using raw honey.