One of the most beneficial natural product is honey. This natural product has around 20 vitamins, 16 minerals, 18 amino acids, a ton of antioxidants and phytonutrients, and has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
However, the honey we find in groceries might not have all of these benefits because many of the brands of honey sell adulterated honey. This means that all of the beneficial properties of the raw, organic honey are non-existent.
Food Safety News has directed an investigation of the honey market and found that 76% of the honey which can be found in stores and markets have been through a process called ultrafiltration. This process removes the wax of the honey as well as all pollen.
Many experts think that the pollen and the impurities of the honey can have beneficial values for our health, as opposed to the whole process of removing them which does not have any beneficial values and also costs a lot of money and does not improve shelf-life.
Because pollen is used to find out where the honey has been grown, or in other words, the source of its geographic location, with ultrafiltration the companies mask the origins of their honey so their shady secrets of producing the honey will not be found out.
The honey samples that Food Safety News collected were sent to Vaughn Bryant, a professor and a melissopalynologist at Texas A&M University. He found that almost ¾ of the samples he tested contained little to no pollen.
Additionally, he found that:
- Winnie The Pooh honey at Walmart stores had no pollen
- KFC and McDonald’s honey packets had no pollen
- Honey from drugstores like CVS Pharmacy and Walgreen’s had no pollen
- Honey from Costco, Target, and Sam’s Club had zero traces of pollen
However, he also found that honey from farmers markets, co-ops, and stores like Trader Joes had all of the original amounts of pollen in the honey.
In spite of all the FDA requests to stop the production and sale of adulterated honey in stores, there has not been any sign of them banning it. In the EU, all the honey containers need to contain a label that lists pollen as an ingredient when it exists in the honey.
In order to check if you have purchased organic or adulterated honey, you can do any of these simple tests:
- Thumb Test – Add a small amount of honey on your thumb and see if it spreads of spills. If the honey spills or spreads, it has been adulterated because natural honey will stay intact on the thumb.
- Water Test – Add a tablespoon of honey to a filled glass of water. If the honey dissolves around the glass it is adulterated. Pure honey will drop onto the bottom of the glass and settle there.
- Flame Test – Dip a dry matchstick with honey and try lighting it on the matchbox. If the matchstick does not light, it is adulterated since fake honey contains moisture. With real honey, the matchstick should light without a problem and should keep burning.
For now, make sure you buy your honey from a farmers’ markets or natural food stores in order to benefit from all of the nutrition it can offer you.