Monday, February 27, 2012

Lead and Antibiotics in Store Bought "Honey"



I'm sorry in advance to be the bearer of bad news, but someone has to say it. Arsenic in juice, BPA in plastic, antibiotics in meat, now what? What else will moms cringe about and adjust to filter out of family life - again? This time it is the honey lining your grocery store's shelves. You may have thought honey is a better alternative to fake maple (i.e. corn) syrup. If it was real honey, yes. But chances are, if you buy it at a major supermarket or drug store - it isn't necessarily real honey. 

You see, to be called 'honey', the gooey mixture has to contain pollen - otherwise there is no way to tell what the origins of the honey are. But according to Food Safety News tests, 76% of honey samples from at least ten major supermarkets had all pollen removed. This is usually done by ultra-filtering at high temperatures, thus killing all the medicinal properties of honey - and making it impossible to know where the honey came from. So where does this honey come from? Most ultra-filtered honey is most likely from China. The FDA says that if it doesn't contain pollen, it isn't honey - yet they fail to check any honey shipping to the U.S. for pollen content.

Moreover, honey from China has a history of being contaminated with lead and antibiotics, just like so many other products imported from there. This sort of ultra-filtered, watered down pseudo-honey has been dumped on the U.S. market for years. There are a lot of sneaky details to this story that you can read over at Food Safety News

So in the meantime, what are we to do as moms? How do you find real honey? Well, thankfully Vaughn Bryant, director of Palynology Research Labaratory, also tested honey samples bought at farmer's markets, co-ops, and "natural" stores like PCC and Trader Joe's, all had the full amount of pollen as honey should contain. Whew. Also, your odds of getting real honey that's labeled organic are better, at about 71%. 

All the more reasons to get closer to your source of food and support your local beekeepers! Chances are, you cab find local honey near you. I think the Honey and Bee Products at Local Harvest is a good place to start. To get even closer to home, find a beekeeper near you here.  


Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

20 comments:

  1. The FDA has not said that honey without pollen is not honey. The Food Safety News article has resulted in confusion about filtration and ultrafiltration. Please see www.honey.com for clarification.

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    1. That's not the point. The point is that the consumer is mislead. Everyone knows not all honey is created equal, any processed honey can't compare to raw honey with all of its medicinal properties. Thanks for the link to honey.com, but I cannot trust anything from the industry itself, just like I can't trust Monsanto to tell me their seeds are safe. No offense :) We're just trying to protect our kids, because the government does not.

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  2. Thank you for posting this, i found out that for myself not too long ago, although always knew not all honey is the same.

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    1. Welcome! I'm just passing on what I discover. I read about it a while ago but only had time to write now. I always knew store bought honey wasn't exactly the same as unprocessed honey straight from the beekeeper. I just didn't know there was so much more to the story. I don't want to be paying for honey shipped from thousands of miles away and without anything to prove where it came from. :)

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  3. Ugh! What else are we going to find out is in our food supply?? Thanks for sharing this. Something else for me to research in my downtime. ;)

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    1. You're welcome. That's exactly my thought every time there is yet another problem with foods. I think at one point I will just resort to buying a piece of land and growing everything myself! :) We'll just do with what we have for now, we will not always be able to protect our kids 100%, that's life.

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  4. Thank you For all your info you put out :)

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  5. Thank you for posting this :) you Are all a big Help

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  6. Wow...as a grandmother and home childcare provider this really bothers me. Thank you for putting this out here!

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  7. Another reason I'm glad we buy local. I have found that it helps my family with allergies by buying the local honey. Thank you for this information.

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    1. I've heard local honey does help many with allergies! Glad it works for you :)

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  8. I had no idea! That is crazy. It frustrates me so much that we get all this food from overseas that we could get from home! Why can't the local honey be more accessible?

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    1. I wish they sold local honey in stores, that would be nice. But I think it is better for the beekeeper if we buy directly from him/her :)

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  9. Everynight before I go to bed I drink braggs apple cider vinegar and raw honey, it helps me sleep and tastes so good:)
    Roechelle
    http://hugatreewithme.com

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  10. We just got honey that says Really Raw! That never been processed contains pollen, propolis, and honeycomb, after giving a teaspoon to my daughter and she discovered a bee leg in it, how can you think otherwise =)

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    1. Sweet! (pun intended) I would rather have bee legs in my honey than lead or antibiotics lol ;)

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  11. Ugh, this is the world we live in :/ It's so hard to protect your family!

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  12. that is just so crazy !! i think ill be checking my honey!

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