Next time you visit the grocery store, looking for honey, and you are thinking which one to buy, the unknown brand nectar in a plastic jar, or the pricy premium, artisanal honey, you need to think twice before choosing the pricy one as the better one.
Food Safety News conducted an investigation on the honey market in which they found that 76% of all honey sold at the grocery stores were treated with a process called “ultra-filtration”. “Ultra-filtration” is a process which removes not only the irregularities like wax, but also all traces of pollen. The generic brands that were far-and-away were most likely to be ultra-filtered.
Over all, ultra-filtration is a very big issue. There is a common belief that the so-called “impurities” and the pollen are actually quite beneficial for the human health. Because of this beneficial ingredients many people choose honey instead of sugar as their sweetener. But the truth however is that ultra-filtration provides zero benefits. It does not significantly improve the shelf-life of the honey, even though some manufacturers claim it does and it is expensive.
According to FSN the biggest reason for avoiding the ultra-filtered honey, is that the only sure-fire way to trace the source of honey to a geographic location is the pollen. Anyway, to mask the shady origins of certain kinds of honey some manufacturers use the ultra-filtered honey, for example the Chinese honey, subject to heavy import tariffs on account of the illegal antibiotics contained inside and its frequent contamination by heavy metals. Many Chinese honey producers ultra-filter their honey, and then use the byzantine paths, in order to place their fake productsin the groceries all over America without being hit with a tariff.
Honey samples from the Food Safety News were sent to the Texas A&M University premier melissopalynologist and professor Vaughn Bryant. He discovered that roughly three fourths of the honey had very little amount or no pollen at all, making the honey unsafe and unidentifiable. He also discovered that:
- 77 percent of honey from big box stores like Sam’s Club, Target and Costcohad no traces of pollen.
- 100 percent of the honey from the drugstores like CVS Pharmacy and Walgreen’s had all the pollen filtered out.
- 100 percent of Winnie the Pooh sold in Walmart stores had all pollen removed.
- 100 percent of honey from individual packets from McDonald’s and KFC had all pollen removed.
He also discovered that, honey purchased from stores like Trader Joes, farmers’ markets and co-ops had the full amount of the original pollen inside.
It has been asked from the FDA to do something more and prevent the adulterated and smuggled honey from getting on the grocery shelves,but they have so far shrugged off the burden.
The EU has just changed thelabeling regulations. Now the pollen must be listed as an ingredient on the honey containers.
There are approximately 16 minerals, 18 amino acids, 21 vitamins, and a ton of phytonutrients and antioxidants in one ounce of raw honey. Raw honey has many antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial substances, and it is highly nutritious.It contains significant amounts of vitamin C, B6,B5,B3,B2, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, phosphate, calcium and sodium chlorine.
The last but not the least, there is good news for all the worried consumers. Thereis a great option, buying honey from natural food stores and farmers’ markets. FSN conducted an investigation which showed that a very small amount or zero of the honeys sold there had been subject to ultra-filtration.