Did you know….that more than 75% of all commercial honey is “fake honey”—and is devoid of all health and medicinal benefits?
The medicinal and nutritional value of honey is no secret. We have been using honey as a sugar substitute in our tea for years, as a flavorful topping for our toast and English muffins, and even as a tonic for sore, scratchy throats. Some even slather it on their skin, hoping to capitalize on honey’s antioxidant and anti-microbial properties.
Unfortunately, American consumers have been deceived. Chances are the honey we have been enjoying is nothing more than a mixture of sugar water, malt sweeteners, corn rice syrup and other non-nutritional additives.
According to a very recent report in Food Safety News (FSN) three-fourths of the honey on American shelves is ultra-processed and devoid of all medicinal properties. FSN researchers analyzed 60 jars, jugs and plastic “bears” of honey that lined the shelves of food stores in 10 states and the District of Columbia, to see if the honey lived up to the standards set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The results are shocking:
- 76 percent of the honey in major grocery stores contained no pollen.
- 77 percent of the honey in warehouse stores, such as Costco, Wal-Mart and Target, was pollen-free.
- 100 percent of the honey in drugstores was absent of pollen.
- 100 percent of the individual honey packets produced by chains like Smuckers, McDonald’s and KFC had no pollen.
What Is The Significance of Pollen-Free Honey?
According to the FDA, honey without pollen is essentially fake honey. The organization maintains that if a “honey” product has been filtered to the degree that there are no longer any microscopic pollen particles, then that product is not honey.
While the standards set by the FDA match the standards set by the World Health Organization and the European Commission, the FDA does not monitor imported honey to ensure that it comes from safe and sanctioned sources. The lack of a U.S. standard of identification explains the overwhelming amount of fake honey being sold in America.
What’s The Motivation for Ultra-Processing?
For those manufacturing honey, ultra-processing is easier, cheaper and quicker. It also appeals to consumer preference; the more processed, the clearer the honey, a visual aesthetic that is more appealing. Honey also suffers from the same supermarket preservative syndrome that fruits and vegetables do. Processed and preserved for a longer shelf life, fake honey may stand the test of time; but it has lost its taste, and its medicinal and nutritional value.
These motivations hold no weight. According to American beekeepers, traditional filtering methods are all that are needed to catch wax and debris from the hives, leaving pollen and all of honey’s medicinal benefits intact.
There is perhaps a shadier motivation underlying the ultra-filtering process. With no traces of pollen remaining, authorities cannot trace the honey’s country of origin. Honey shipped from China is notoriously contaminated with illegal antibiotics such as chloramphenicol—an antibiotic that has been linked to cancer and DNA damage—and with heavy metals such as lead.
Mark Jensen, president of the American Honey Producers Association, comments:
“In my judgment, it is pretty safe to assume that any ultra-filtered honey on store shelves is Chinese honey and it’s even safer to assume that it entered the country uninspected and in violation of federal law.”
In the past 18 months the United States has imported 208 million pounds of honey, 60 percent of which came from Asian countries, which are known to be established laundering locations where Chinese brokers import fake honey, even going so far as to switch labels and create counterfeit country of origin papers.
To make sure you are not being duped, purchase honey, organic honey if possible, from health food stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes, or visit your local farmers’ markets.
Start enjoying the many benefits of real honey, which…
- Defends against viruses
- Provides relief from allergies
- Soothes sore throats
- Promotes strong teeth
- Encourages healthy skin
- Supports healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract