For the love of (M)Honey! Buying Healthy Natural Honey versus “Honey Interrupted!”
Honey is such a gift. This should be an article just singing the endless praises of its health benefits and amazing properties. It sort of is but did you know that almost 80% of all the honey in shops and supermarkets are fake? It is either imported from China (which according to South African law, has to be killed with irradiation) and/or sugars, syrups, water, chemicals etc. are added to bulk it up, prolong shelf-life and to maximise profits. Pasteurisation also kills natural ingredients. It was invented only for sick and contaminated produce.
Irradiation kills 5 to 80% of the natural beneficial nutrients and micro-elements in all food, leaving it looking good and lasting longer on the shop shelves, but basically dead. *Links with more information at the bottom of this article.
The sad truth is that by the time these products hit the shelves, most or all of the life-giving health benefits, vitamins and minerals are long gone and you pay a ‘honey’ price for a common syrup.
When buying Honey, like with Olive Oil, it is imperative to read the label carefully unless you buy from a trusted source – usually local, committed and accredited farmers and beekeepers.
Unfortunately even the labeling is so convoluted that no one knows what it means. It can state “Pure Honey” and still contain glucose syrup, or “Choice Grade” which means absolutely nothing!
Your best bet is to go for a label stating Raw Honey! Not 100% guaranteed either but here you have to question and trust your merchant.
We all know by now that refined sugar is bad for us. So many of us try to do the right thing by rather using a natural magnificently healthy product like honey. It is antiseptic, full of minerals and nutrients and nature’s own nectar.
But we are often deceived into buying cheap syrups with misleading labeling, thinking that it is honey.
Know what you buy! Know how to detect fake honey and only buy real, natural and organic honey made by bees.
All of us can perform these simple tests and the differences are easy to notice. It is a good and fun thing to teach your children too.
By consuming real honey only, you get countless benefits and you will be safe from artificial chemicals added by greedy fraudsters. Otherwise they would label it as “Syrup with no health benefits”.
Simple & Fun Tests to Reveal Fake or Real Honey
Check for the crystallization. Real honey is absolutely loaded with enzymes including glucose oxidase. It will eliminate the water from honey. This means that honey will crystallize and become thicker when stored. Fake honey won’t and it will stay the same regardless of how long it was stored.
Take a cup of water and add honey. Real honey will need a long period of time to dissolve. It drops to the bottom and stay like a big lump. Fake honey, due to its chemicals and additives will dissolve quickly and easily.
Drop some honey on a piece of paper. It will stay in the same form and it will not wet the paper or soak through. Fake honey will wet the paper. If the paper gets wet, you can be sure that artificial chemicals have been added. If it passes through the paper, avoid that “honey”.
Take a matchstick and push the tip into a jar of honey. Set it alight with another match or lighter. If it burns, it is real honey. Fake honey will not burn. This is one of the oldest tricks in the books.
Probably the only acceptable use for a microwave! Put some drops of honey into a microwave-safe bowl and place it in a microwave. Heat it for 40 seconds and look at the result. Real honey will caramelize. Fake honey will become bubbly and foamy.
Some Benefits of Real Honey
Natural Honey is Antiseptic – you can safely treat toothache or a wound with real honey.
Natural Honey contains numerous nutrients.
Natural High-Quality Honey is rich in Antioxidants.
The Antioxidants in Natural Honey can help lower blood pressure.
Natural Honey can help to improve Cholesterol.
Natural Honey can lower Triglycerides.
The Antioxidants in natural Honey are linked to beneficial effects on Heart Health.
The list is very long, and worth a proper read and research of your own.
Please click on the links under suggested reading for more information.
Further reading suggestions:
What is wrong with irradiation?
All About Raw Honey: How Is It Different Than Regular Honey?
Honey versus Sugar
The healing power of honey: From burns to weak bones, raw honey can help
Top 12 Honey and Cinnamon Benefits and Uses
5 Food-Medicines That Could Quite Possibly Save Your Life
The need for bees