Organic honey — the honey that you should use

31.01.2017. 18:50

Organic honey might be expensive, but you can be sure that you bought the real thing. 

How many flowers are needed to make organic honey? A lot. More than most of us can easily comprehend. To survive a year, a single colony brings in about 250 pounds of nectar. Individual flowers aren’t generous with nectar, either. Most yield just the smallest of droplets. A standard jar of honey from the supermarket requires bees to make a million flower visits. A colony might produce 50 to 100 such jars per year. Incredible!

So I tried to get a jar of honey

Recently, I went to the supermarket to buy myself a jar of honey. After I found a store department with food I started looking for jars of honey. Then I saw it! I saw jars of honey, but, when I came closer I was frustrated. There were like 4–5 types of honey, all types were cheaper than the honey I buy from the local beekeeper. Then I found out that honey in the stores, in many cases, is not pure honey, it’s mixed with sugar. Honey mixed with sugar might be sweet, but it is not “honey.”

Fact is that 80% of honey consumed last year in the US came from off shore, it’s imported from other countries. A big percentage of that honey was not pure, raw or organic honey.

Not organic honey
Image 1: Not organic honey

Chaos in the food industry

A last decade was crucial, the rise of non organic food is bigger than anything. Today you cannot be sure that anything you bought in the store is organic. It’s not only about honey, the same is for fruits or vegetables, also other food products are in danger. The rise of cancer and other diseases is growing exponentially. Why? We don’t know, but the food industry could be one of the reasons. GMO is everywhere, it’s even hard to refuse using it. Producers are doing what they need to do just to have bigger income, if the GMO is the way, they will do it.

Your health is everything

Don’t economize when your health is in question, it’s everything that you have and it should be your top priority. It’s better to spend some more money on food than to risk getting sick later.

The next time you find yourself in the honey aisle of your grocery store, debating between a pricy premium, artisanal honey and the store-brand nectar contained in a plastic bear, you might want to think twice before choosing based on price.

Organic honey could be the way?

Organic beekeeping is the beekeeping practiced in clean environment, without intensive agriculture, use of synthetic feed and chemicals harmful for the bees. If the bees were fed from flowers that were treated with pesticides or some chemicals, their honey cannot be labeled as organic honey. Not all honey is organic honey, if beekeeper wants to get organic label for his honey he needs to have organic certificate. That certification is not easy to get, almost all countries have strict requirements to get it and not anyone can have it. Organic certification verifies that the farm or handling facility complies with organic regulations. That means that honey is made by the bees that were fed only with organically grown flowers.

Organic honey in the EU

The honey that is labeled as organic honey in the EU was produced with several requirements. Similar requirements are present in the US. Organic honey is organic, whatever it is in EU or US, similar conditions should be required to label it as organic honey.

  • The area within the 3 km radius around the beehives must be predominantly covered by natural vegetation and/or organic or low input farmland.
  • Hives construction the hive must be made of natural materials, without synthetic materials like paints, varnishes etc.
  • Bee feeding the hive must be left with reserves of honey and pollen sufficiently abundant to survive the period without nectar and honeydew.
  • Diseases only legally permitted phytotherapeutic products can be used in preference to allopathic products.
  • Bees genetically altered bee species cannot be used.
  • Honey harvesting must be done without use of synthetic repellents.

Organic honey in the US

Honey in US to be labeled as organic honey must have similar production process like it is in the EU, anyway it’s just a little more strict because you have two guidelines. Honey in the USA falls under both the FDA guidelines for organic plant products and organic animal products.

Organic plant products guidelines

The standards for organic plant products require that nectar gathered from each flower must come from a flower grown in the organic level standard. Any flower that does not meet this standard lowers your “organic plant” certification until you don’t meet the requirements anymore. Most find it absurd to try to meet this and certify organic under Plant product guidelines.

Organic animal product guidelines

The standards for animal products to be organic is that the animal must be treated in organic and/or approved methods. For bees, this means organic treatments in the hive and methods of feeding have to use certified organic material to maintain certification.

Organic honey — It is the real thing

If honey is labeled as organic honey beekeeper could increase the price of his honey (almost double it) but you can be sure that you are buying the real thing. Organic honey is nature’s honey, only organic materials were used.

Many beekeepers can’t get organic certificate because it’s almost impossible to prove the nectar source, especially if the apiary is on location where other people live. In most cases that apiary from which that honey is harvested looks like this one below.

Organic honey nature

Image 2: Organic honey nature

Don’t use fake honey

You never know what you got in the jar of honey. We prefer organic honey from the local beekeeper, but if you already bought a jar from the store it’s better to test your honey at home to see how pure it really is. Anyway there are a couple of test’s that you could try at home and find out what is n a bottle of your honey. How to check the purity of honey at home?




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