Honey is a popular product that’s found in basically every supermarket around the nation. A lot of people add honey to their tea, milk, and alike because of the amazing health benefits offered from honey, which range from beating coughs to boosting the immune system. Many people even apply it topically, as it’s well-known for fighting dandruff and healing cuts. While the health benefits of real honey are great, and it deserves all the credit it gets, what many consumers don’t realize is that more than three-fourths of the honey found in the United States isn’t exactly the kind bees are producing.
According to recent testing conducted for Food Safety News, over 80% of honey manufacturers are selling mixtures of what’s basically sugar, corn syrup, and possibly additional mysterious ingredients, and passing this off as honey. In fact, of these brands, the “honey” contains absolutely no bee pollen, which is needed to create real honey. Without bee pollen, there’s no way to tell where the honey came from or if the ingredients are even safe, which poses a serious health hazard. There’s no law regarding the purity of honey, and honey manufacturers commonly filter out the pollen and still label it honey. Even more concerning is the FDA’s disregard for the problem. While the US Food and Drug Administration says that without any pollen, the product isn’t honey, the FDA does absolutely no checking into honey products to see if they’re actually honey or alternatively, a risky fake.
Most honey manufacturers selling the "so-called" honey are using an ultra-filtering technique that works by heating the honey to remove the pollen and then watering it down. A small amount of the heated mixture is used along with the corn syrup, sugar, and basically mystery ingredients to create the finished product. This technique allows honey manufacturers to create hundreds of bottles of honey from ingredients fit for a single bottle. It’s a scary technique adapted from the technique used by China, who was previously caught adding tons of illegal ingredients to their honey products, including the use of prescription antibiotics, and sending them to the US market. The previous honey products sold to consumers in the U.S quickly flooded local grocery stores and supermarkets, and they not only contained high levels of harmful antibiotics but heavy metals. The manufacturers left absolutely no way to track the honey, and with these ingredients, the health benefits of honey were completely canceled out and the products became a serious danger.
Lack of benefits
The Food and Drug Administration decided to look into the problem with honey to see how serious it is. They went to a variety of grocery stores and purchased different brands of honey. They then test the brands and said that in grocery stores, 76% of the samples had all of the pollen removed, and in smaller chain stores that included pharmacies, 100% of the honey was a fake. The only samples that still contained the pollen were those branded “honey in the raw”, found mostly in whole-food stores, and a few of these brands still contained no actual honey. What’s does all of this mean for the consumer? It means that rather than offering the vast number of health benefits that people have grown to love about honey, it can actually pose a health risk, and may even be deadly for those with allergies to one of the filler ingredients, not to mention filled with high levels of sugar making the "so-called honey" basically junk food.
The fake honey poses a risk for those who use it both internally and even externally. One example of the topical risk is rather than applying the natural source to your scalp to treat dandruff, the honey clogs the pores on the head and can lead to even worse cases of dandruff, along with the risk of cystic acne developing on the scalp.
Most people are aware of the fact that high fructose corn syrup isn't good for you, sugar is only good in its natural source, and because the additional ingredients have yet to be detected, the actual risk level present in the fake honey is unknown.
Honey for Health
Until the FDA begins monitoring the honey sold to consumers, experts recommend that you purchase honey directly from a breeder. All bee breeders who offer honey from bee farms get the honey from the actual bee nectar and pollen, which is then bottled and sold to consumers.
While the price of real honey is much higher than the products found in the supermarket, it’s well worth the cost, as you’re paying for actual honey, not the bottled gunk that could be a risk to your health.
Real honey is only harvested four times each year, so you’ll want to contact your local bee farm to find out when they offer their honey for sale. Chances are once you try the bee farm honey, you’ll realize you’ve been tasting fake honey from faulty honey manufacturers for years, and you’ll start seeing all of the promised health benefits of honey come to life.