The Importance of Buying Local Raw Honey, Honey

December 28, 2018

Can you relate to this? Wake up, squeeze in a quick yoga sesh, let the dogs out and feed them, see my teens off for the day, unload the dishwasher, run my car in for service, take an uber home, grab a quick bite to eat, throw on some normal clothes, sit down at my desk to tackle hours or emails, orders, website modifications, blog posts, social media, editing photos, communicating with customers.  Too busy to stop for lunch, I work through until about 2 when I start to get hangry and my body forces me to eat.  The craziness of my morning is broken for a spell when I fill up a mug with hot water and dunk in my favorite decaf green tea after lunch.  A spoonful of honey, local, raw and unfiltered stops me in my tracks.  It's like a meditation:  Watching the steam rise out of the cup, slowly stirring in the golden elixir…. A reminder to slow down and care for myself in small and meaningful ways.  

This “meditation” just wouldn’t be right with any other sweetener: High fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, processed refined white sugar, aspartame, Sucralose, saccharin or acesulfame potassium? No - just no!

Despite the fact that local raw honey tastes incredible, did you know that in honey resides a nutritional powerhouse?  According to Dr. Mark Hyman, Functional Medicine Director of the Cleveland Clinic, “Honey contains phytonutrients that function as antifungals and antibacterials to keep our immune systems happy, as well as vitamins and minerals.”  Additionally, local honey contains tiny bits of pollen that help build your immune system and acclimate your body to potential allergens in the area.

But not all honey is created equal.  You’d be surprised to learn how adulterated the “honey” is that is most widely available at grocery stores.  

According to the National Honey Board, Because honey production has dropped significantly, while our consumption of honey has increased,  there’s an incentive for unscrupulous providers to dilute the real deal with cheap and easily obtainable additives like corn syrup

And even if you are getting actual pure honey, most honey is pasteurized, a process that heats and filters the honey to kill bacteria (even the beneficial kinds) and reduce crystallization, resulting in a more “photographic” clear liquid.  The problem with this is that pasteurization also eliminated much of the nutritional and health benefits of honey.  

The only way to know for certain where your honey comes from and how it is produced is to know your beekeeper and understand his or her methods.  Our beekeeper, Don, raises Certified Naturally Grown Honey (the only beekeeper in the state that we know of that is certified).  This certification ensures pure honey, raised on land that is not sprayed with any pesticides or fertilizers.  Additionally, the hives themselves are only treated with naturally occurring components such as thymol (a component of thyme essential oil) and oxalic acid (a compound naturally occurring in honey that helps keep the hives healthy).  Did you know that many hives are rife with antibiotic treatments of bees? Seriously!

You can rest assured that I’ve searched high and low for a passionate beekeeper with incredibly high ethical standards. Those standards are evident in the beautiful, nutrient-dense honey coming out of his hives.  Click here to purchase this liquid gold.

Kristin Varela-Schild

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