Have you heard about fake honey? Did you know that there was a scandal not too long ago about fake honey being sold in stores? Do you think you can identify fake honey if you saw it? My husband and I have started making mead, a honey based ‘wine’ that ferments for almost a year before being ready to actually drink. When we were getting ready to start our first batch, we did a lot of research into what types of ingredients we wanted to include (you can add things like hops or fruit to create different varieties of mead). Obviously, the one thing we knew we NEEDED was honey. We decided to try and keep our ingredients as close to home as possible so we headed to our farmer’s market to pick up some local honey. Thankfully, we had a few options to choose from and could buy it in bulk (we need about a gallon or so at a time which is a ton of honey!) Our mead will be a 100% Georgia grown and made product. However, if we chose to buy a grocery store brand, could I identify fake honey before adding it to our mead?
Can You Identify Fake Honey?
Most people don’t buy their honey at farmer’s markets…they just head to the grocery store and grab a little plastic bear and bring it home. Well, few of the little plastic jugs at my local grocery store make any mention of WHERE that honey came from. This includes the organic honey, too! Sure, it might say clover honey or wildflower honey but does it actually say WHERE the product was harvested from? Take a look…maybe yours does! One way to identify fake honey is to look for a source of origin on the bottle!
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Honey smuggling is becoming a major problem in this country! In China, bees are kept healthy with antibiotics that are banned in this country and the resulting honey is then stored in large metal drums where heavy metal contamination can cause unsafe levels of lead. Not only do you have to worry about how to identify fake honey, but you really need to worry about the quality of honey purchased from many overseas companies.
Another side effect of importing cheap ‘honey’? American beekeepers are struggling to survive. Between the decline in the honeybee population due to disease and the loss of profits due to honey smuggling, the US apiaries are struggling to survive. And what happens when keeping bees is no longer profitable? No one will do it. What happens to our agricultural stability when no one is bothering to raise honey bees any more? Our food supply depends on bees for pollination…we cannot survive without this tiny little insect!
So, the next time you are at the store, take a look at your honey’s label…are you supporting your local beekeepers? Are you actually buying HONEY, or a fake imitation from overseas? If you find a local beekeeper and buy at your local farmer’s markets, you won’t need to worry about how to identify fake honey!
Go ahead, check out your pantry…I did…and even the Publix Greenwise Organic honey does NOT have a country of origin listed on it. (as opposed to a ‘packed by’ notation). Leave me a comment and let me know where YOUR honey comes from!
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.