How Pure is your Honey?

A jar of honey, shown with a wooden honey dipp...
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This week Florida became the first state to define “Pure Honey” in the letter of the law:

Under terms of the new regulation, honey containing anything other than the ”natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar by honeybees” is considered an adulterated or mislabeled product. Manufacturers, processors or sellers of these products face ”stop sale” orders, and repeat offenders would face fines of up to $500 per violation.

read more from the Miami Herald…

Impure honey, or in professional jargon adulterated honey is mixed with cheaper ingredients. These can be cheap sugars such as sucrose, invert sugar, and commercial glucose, as well as starch, chalk, gelatine, water and other substances.

Turns out that adulterated honey is a big problem in Florida, the country’s 4th largest honey producer. Cheap imports are undercutting local producers, mostly because they are using cheap ingredients instead of 100% honey.

What you need to know:

Honey is probably the first sweetener known to man. Archaeological evidence shows we began harvesting honey around 10,000 BC, around 4000 years earlier than the use of sugarcane.

Bees manufacture honey as a food store for themselves. Humans decided this was too good to keep just for the bees.

Nutritionally, honey is composed of around 15% water and 85% carbs. each gram of honey has 4 calories, just like table sugar.  A single teaspoon will set you back about 64 calories.

There are also small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in honey. Their amount varies based on the floral sources of nectar.

Honey also has been used to heal wounds, due to its antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties.

What to do at the supermarket:

When buying honey, look at the label to make sure it’s 100% honey, not a “honey product” or “honey flavored sweetener”.

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