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Multiple bee stings are Mother Nature's way of
“Are you really
sure you want to eat this stuff?“
Optimal case: honey from a wild hive.
This might be your best bet, and it's got problems too.
- the hive is not working pesticide-laden flowers or crops,
- the hive is not in Colony Collapse Disorder,
- the bees are working a diverse species of
pollen/nectar sources, and
- the resulting honey is free of
A wild hive is at risk of picking up pesticides
from the flowers and crop they service. Unless
you know that the hive is some distance from the
nearest frankenfarmer, there are a lot
of things you might want to have it tested for.
Pure wild honey is a simple saccharide that is
50% fructose, and free fructose at that. See:
See also the book “The Fat Switch”
(Richard J. Johnson, MD) which details the metabolism
of fructose. No, fructose isn't the fat switch
(uric acid is), but fructose is the biggest chubby
finger on that switch.
Honey is wildly popular with “paleo”
cooks, who write cook books and post web recipes.
They are fooling themselves.
Humans are superbly adapted to pack on pounds when
fructose is available, historically during brief
seasonal gorging, then burn it off in unplanned
ketosis during deep winter. Today, metabolic
summer never ends. Metabolic winter never comes.
Metabolic syndrome comes instead.
Although not as effective as so-called agave
nectar, honey is a popular all-natural organic
free-range fair-traded way to get fat and diabetic.
Local apiary case
Here's a question to ask your local beekeeper:
“When do you feed your bees and
what do you feed them?”
It is customary to provide sugar to bees to help
them over-winter, and to replace the harvested honey.
Whatever is fed to them, which could easily be
will get into the honey.
Some apiarists feed all year long.
Refined Sugar to Honey Bees
“Another thing that most people don't
realize about honey is that when you feed bees HFCS
they stash it in the same cells that nectar gets
stored in, and in fact gets mixed up with the honey.
So when you buy honey from many suppliers you are
getting HFCS and a honey mixture - even if the label
says “pure honey,” the odds are it isn't.”
If you can get the bees to add the HFCS or sucrose
at the honeycomb, you can still call it “honey”,
if we read between the lines of the FDA
Do the colonies have access to diverse sources of
pollen and nectar? If not study up on the low risk
of “honey intoxication”. And, of course,
there is the same pesticide residue concern
mentioned above for wild honey.
Trusted brand case
Are you sure?
I wouldn't bee.
Show Most Store Honey Isn't Honey
“Some U.S. honey packers didn't want
to talk about how they process their merchandise.”
Random brand case
There's a massively high chance that it contains
no honey at all. Odds are that it's completely,
or largely HFCS or HFRS (High Fructose Rice Syrup).
It it's India or China-sourced, it may be
contaminated with random chemicals, illegal
animal antibiotics, toxins, bacteria, and even
heavy metals. Feed “honey laundering”
to your favorite search engine.
is a particular concern, because honey adulterers
use it to prevent spoilage in honey harvested too
are another serious problem.
for Mars used to detect “honey laundering”
“… more than a third of honey
consumed in the US has been smuggled from China
and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and
heavy metals. To make matters worse, some honey
brokers create counterfeit honey using a small
amount of real honey, bulked up with sugar, malt
sweeteners, corn or rice syrup, jaggery (a type
of unrefined sugar) and other additives - known
as honey laundering.”
That freebie packet of “Honey Sauce”
at the All You Can Keep Down buffet?
I wouldn't touch it on a bet.
Might there be some health benefits to local pure
honey? Perhaps, but they are drowned by the fructose
and may well be outweighed by the contaminant risks.
And it will take an extraordinary effort to achieve
any level of confidence that the syrup in the bottle
had any bee participation of consequence.
When You See “Honey” in
the Ingredients List on the NF Panel, and no
credible claims about the provenance and purity …
- either the manufacturer doesn't know all of the above,
- or they do.
I'm not sure which is more disturbing.
In any case, they are hoping you
don't know. There may be no real difference
between honey and contaminated HFCS is the majority of cases.
Safer xylitol-based alternative:
Sugar Free Honey
feed any honey to children under 1 year old,
due to the botulism risk.