Phoenix New Times Article
By Jennifer Woods
You’d think that honey would be the last food item to be tampered with in this era of food supply manipulation and control. It seems so pure, it never spoils (there’s even safe-to-eat black honey found in Egyptian tombs), it’s sweet and it’s what Winnie the Pooh lives for — but it appears that more than 75 percent of the U.S. honey supply is ultra-processed and smuggled into the country by the barrel drum, to the point where all the inherent medicinal and traceable properties are completely gone.
Food Safety News has blown the top off of the Mr. Honey Bear bottle and explains what’s been happening to our honey and how honey isn’t honey anymore. We spoke with Eleanor Dziuk Absolutely Delightful to get her opinion on the honey story.
All the sticky details after the jump.
It’s pretty clear that when you rip open the packet of honey “sauce” at a particular major fried chicken chain with ingredients labeled as: honey, high fructose corn syrup and other nonsense you know basically what you’re getting (not much of anything beyond sweet) and you go on with your day.
That’s not what we’re talking about here.
What Andrew Schneider at Food Safety News is exposing is the honey that you buy at the supermarket labeled simply as honey. What he’s learned is that almost all supermarket honey has had all the pollen filtered out to the point that most world health organizations would not consider it honey anymore because “without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.”
Additionally shocking and frustrating is that in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration notes that “any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. However, the FDA isn’t checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen.”
The story gets worse. Food Safety News had done an earlier study and found that “U.S. groceries flooded with Indian honey banned in Europe as unsafe because of contamination with antibiotics, heavy metal and a total lack of pollen which prevented tracking its origin.”
So, FSN had 60 jars tested and, yep, almost all of it came back negative for pollen, including Sue Bee and the darling Winnie-the-Pooh brand honey. On a positive note, every sample tested from ” farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores…Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.”
One of our local sources for honey at the farmers’ markets is from Eleanor Dziuk of Absolutely Delightful Arizona Honey. We wanted to know what she thought about this story.
Not surprised she commented, “all it’s good for is sweetener.” She said that most of what she sells is her cloudy unfiltered raw honey since more people are interested and aware.
Dziuk continued by explaining the same challenges with royal jelly and how it’s more difficult to source than honey. Royal jelly is the secretion from honey bees that go to feed larvae and the queen bee. It is thought to have more positive properties than honey and is even believed in Chinese medicine to treat infertility. “You can’t find royal jelly produced here,” she explained. But the royal jelly you do find has been processed and priced artificially low.