Honey has been called liquid gold as it is one of nature’s sweetest gifts.
Moreover, honey is also one of nature’s purest foods. It is called by the nutritionists functional food, which means it is all-natural product with a large number of health benefits.
In fact, raw (unpasteurized, or never heated beyond the temperature of the beehive) honey contains a whopping 22 amino acids, 27 minerals including calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and even selenium. It is rich in vitamins as well like vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin.
Some nutritional live digestive enzymes, like catalase, diastase, glucose oxidase, invertase, acid phosphatase, and inulase are found in honey. It is also abundant in antioxidants.
But, not all honey is same.
Actually, most of the honey types you purchase at your local supermarket is not any healthier than the white sugar, particularly cheap honey. Plus, much of it is likely produced in China where health and safety regulations are lax as well as in many cases, non-existent.
Without the presence of pollen, the FDA cannot conclude whether the honey is from legitimate and/or safe sources.
Unluckily, most, if not all, of the commercial honeys found in supermarkets are ultra-filtered, i.e., a process, involving heating the honey to high temperatures that destroys any beneficial nutrients and enzymes, adding water to dilute it, and filtering it with high pressure technology to eliminate any pollen.
A professor at Texas A&M University, Vaughn Bryant, who is also a renowned melissopalynologist, actually tested 60 honey brands from 10 states and the District of Columbia.
The results of the study were reported by Food Safety News, proving that 76% of the honeys sold in supermarkets had all of the pollen removed, thus leaving their exact origins untraceable.
What’s even worse, 100% of the honey types that are sold at drugstores and honey packaged in the single serving portions don’t contain any pollen.
He also determined that 77% of the honey tested from big-box stores, such as Costco and Walmart, had a lack of pollen.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to avoid spending your money on this artificial honey.
How to recognize cheap, fake honey
Read the Label – All producers are obliged to label the content of their products, so make sure you read the label carefully. Always choose honey which is additive-free!
Crystallization – Fake honey doesn’t crystallize! It just keeps its liquid composition, as oppose to the natural one which does crystallize after a while.
Natural Honey Doesn’t Stick – If you rub some of your honey between the tips of your fingers, you will easily know if it’s a fake one. A fake honey sticks on the fingers since it’s loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners. The real honey should be quickly absorbed by your skin.
Caramelization – If you heat several teaspoons of real honey in a microwave, it should caramelize. However, if it becomes all foamy and bubbly, your honey is fake.
Paper Test – If you put some real honey on a sheet of paper, it shouldn’t be absorbed. But, if it does absorb on the paper, it means it contains high amount of water, which makes it fake.
Bug Trick – Real honey produced by bees is not favored among ants. Therefore, just put some of your honey in a place where you expect ants, and if they don’t touch it, your honey is all natural!
Honey and Water – Soak some honey in water, and if it makes lumps and falls to the bottom, it means it’s a natural one. If the honey melts in the water, it’s fake!
Bread and Honey – If you spread a natural honey on a slice of bread, the bread should become hard. But, if it just dampens the bread surface, your honey contains too much water, and it’s fake.
In order to give you a little more insight, here are the results of honey brands that do not contain pollen and should be avoided:
These honey brands tested positive for ultra-filtration
- American Choice Clover Honey
- Archer Farms Orange Blossom Honey
- Archer Farms Organic Classic Honey
- Busy Bee Organic Honey
- Busy Bee, Pure Clover Honey
- CVS Honey
- Fred Meyer Clover Honey
- Full Circle Pure Honey
- Giant Eagle Clover Honey
- GE Clover Honey
- Great Value, Clover Honey
- Haggen Honey, Natural & Pure
- HT Traders Tupelo Honey
- Kroger Pure Clover Honey
- Market Pantry Pure Honey
- Mel-o 100 % Pure HoneyNatural Sue Bee Clover Honey
- Naturally Preferred Fireweed Honey
- Rite Aid Honey
- Safeway Clover Honey
- Silver Bow Pure Honey
- Stop and Shop Clove Honey
- Thrifty Bee Honey
- Valutime Honey
- Walgreen MEL-O honey
- Western Family Clover Honey
- Wegman Clover Honey
- Winnie the Pooh, Pure Clover