Honey Contamination

You all seem to be such proficient chefs. Well here is a place to share some of that cooking knowledge. Or do you have a cooking problem? Ask away. Jams and chutneys go here too.
Post Reply
Durgan
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:02 pm

Honey Contamination

Post: # 219759Post Durgan
Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:35 pm

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?XSWIK part of the largest food fraud in U.S. history, is the fact that honey, nature’s benign golden sweetener, is the lucrative contraband.

What consumers don’t know is that honey doesn’t usually come straight – or pure – from the hive. Giant steel drums of honey bound for grocery store shelves and the food processors that crank out your cereal are in constant flow through the global market. Most honey comes from China, where beekeepers are notorious for keeping their bees healthy with antibiotics banned in North America because they seep into honey and contaminate it; packers there learn to mask the acrid notes of poor quality product by mixing in sugar or corn-based syrups to fake good taste.

User avatar
123sologne
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 347
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:14 am
Location: Used to be UK, now Central France
Contact:

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 219782Post 123sologne
Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:23 am

Why am I not surprised.....
There is one thing I do not buy from supermarkets anymore at all and that is honey as most of its goodness has gone in the industrial processes to render the product "free from". Honey is one of the best produce nature has given us to feed us and to protect us against many diseases as well as to treat so many injuries, but it has to be as the bees have given it not has humans have transformed it. And of course the bees have to have a proper good life too, or as close to it as possible.

User avatar
Rosendula
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1743
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:55 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 219795Post Rosendula
Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:50 am

Thank you for this information, Durgan. Honey is something I have wanted to find out more about and have been meaning to ask on this forum. What has stopped me is not knowing exactly what it was I wanted to ask, other than "why the price difference?". I guess that might have been enough. I had heard somewhere that we should avoid cheap honey, but I thought it was just down to freshness and possibly sneaky additives to keep it runny, but I've just read the whole article you linked to and it's pretty scarey stuff. (I've checked out a few names as well, to be sure the article was just some Daily Wail-style tosh. It's not :pale: )

Looking at the honey on our local supermarkets websites, you can spend anything upto £5.87 per 100g from 0cado, or as little as 19.8p/100g from A$da. Counry of origin for the A$da stuff? "A blend of EC and non EC honeys". I know the article was about honey in the US, but I wouldn't be suprised to find that the same is happening here in the UK. Anything for a profit and balls the consumers. My future honey-buying is going to be one of careful consideration. And I must encourage that friend of mine who is thinking of keeping bees.
Rosey xx

User avatar
southeast-isher
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1206
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:41 pm
Location: Great Britain

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 219798Post southeast-isher
Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:07 am

Yeah i try and stear clear of honey when it says in small print "A blend of EC and non EC honeys"

User avatar
darkbrowneggs
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:05 am
Location: Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 219808Post darkbrowneggs
Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:31 am

Hi - I did keep bees, but unfortunately they got killed by spray last spring

(I have four top bar hives surplus to requirements now if anyone is interested plus bee lure to attract swarms)

The factories make "runny honey" by heat treating it, which I think destroys a lot of the vitamins and changes the taste somewhat. It also darkens the colour, so the darkest honey may not be the best.

And lot of honey is produced by feeding the bees sugar direct and just allowing them to use that for their honey making. Thereby defeating the object of nectar collected from differing sources.

I think the only way you can be sure you are eating good honey is buy from someone you trust or keep your own. I started with bees as a complete novice, and found it interesting, and easier than I thought it would be, but I will have to wait until the local farmers are less "spray orientated" before trying again

All the best
Sue

User avatar
skiesabove
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Jerry - Bit higher than newbie
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:13 pm
latitude: 65.84731
longitude: 22.67157
Location: Siknäs, Kalix, Sweden

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 219851Post skiesabove
Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:26 pm

In Sweden you can by "County Honey" in all foodstores, which has been produced by local small-scale (relatively) honey producers. For example, if I want to keep hives and sell my honey, I can sell them to the national beekeeping organization which then sells the county honey.

The bad thing is though, that some countys (such as my own) don't have enough producers, so it is really hard to find locally produced honey. Buying from another part of the country might not sound so bad, but Sweden is a loooong country. Between Kiruna (my current location) and Malmö (south end of Sweden) there is 1790km. That would be like a person from London buying honey from Vilnius (1720km).

Not so very locally produced :P...

So, my goal is to have my own hives =).

User avatar
Rosendula
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1743
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:55 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 220037Post Rosendula
Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:50 pm

I've been doing a bit of reading about the honey we can buy in UK supermarkets and decided to write to Rowse to ask if their honey is raw (slightly off topic, I know, but I was interested :wink: ). This is the reply I have just received:
Thank you for your email and your interest in our honeys.

All of our honeys arrive to us in it’s raw, and in most cases semi solid form. We gently heat our honeys so it has more of a liquid consistency as this enables us to strain out any naturally occurring debris. As we only warm our honeys through, the honey we pack into our bottles and jars is still raw honey.
It tells you on the jar where the honey is from, none of this 'blend from who-knows-where' stuff.
Rosey xx

cocobelle
Barbara Good
Barbara Good
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:59 pm

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 222291Post cocobelle
Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:17 pm

I always buy local honey it helps my hayfever. Really glad I do after reading this.
Organic Baby Clothes made with natural, sustainable fabrics.

User avatar
wildbee
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:12 pm
Location: Devon
Contact:

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 233853Post wildbee
Tue May 31, 2011 6:57 pm

Dear Rosendula,
Rowse wrote:As we only warm our honeys through, the honey we pack into our bottles and jars is still raw honey.
I am not convinced. Why haven't they told you the exact temperature they heat the honey to? Why don't they market their honey as raw? Why aren't raw foodists raving about this brand?
Rowse wrote:We travel all over to find delicious, quality honeys from around the world. And we're proud to say that each one is 100% as nature intended, with nothing added and nothing taken away.
Really? Their producers refrain from feeding the bees sugar and using anti-biotics do they?
Rowse wrote:Quick Fact: The glucose in honey is absorbed quickly and gives you an immediate energy boost.
Uh Oh. Raw honey has a low Glycemic Index and does not cause energy spikes.

I spent so long trying to find raw honey in the supermarkets and got fed this wishy-washy crap by all the major brands every time I asked. There doesn't appear to be any widely accepted definition of raw honey, research that suggests the nutrients in honey become ruined after 35°C conflicts with claims that 47°C/118°F is ok simply because it is the highest recorded temperature of a hive.

Sorry that really was off topic.
Returning swiftly to the point...
durgan.org wrote:What consumers don’t know is that honey doesn’t usually come straight – or pure – from the hive.
Surely it's more like, what consumers don't bother to find out? Of course no-one deserves to be harmed by a product, unfortunately this sort of thing happens all the time while governments give the illusion of having the public's health interests at heart.

darkbrowneggs, that's really sad to hear your bees were killed by an irresponsible ****.
Last edited by wildbee on Tue May 31, 2011 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
southeast-isher
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1206
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:41 pm
Location: Great Britain

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 233854Post southeast-isher
Tue May 31, 2011 7:22 pm

I have a confession: I've been buying R:ows:e honey recently. On seeing this thread i've emailed the local honey guy to see if i can buy it direct off him.

User avatar
southeast-isher
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1206
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:41 pm
Location: Great Britain

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 233860Post southeast-isher
Tue May 31, 2011 8:20 pm

oops... it's G:ale:s that i've been buying. The local guy got back to me and if i can make it to the farmer's market on Saturday i will see him there.

User avatar
mrsflibble
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 3815
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:21 pm
Location: Essex, uk, clay soil, paved w.facing very enclosed garden w/ planters

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 233874Post mrsflibble
Tue May 31, 2011 9:41 pm

and this is why I KNEW I was right in using nothing but relatively local honeys!!

if I can't get local honey from Barleylands farm shop or from an enthusiastic apiculturist who lives near my mum, I try to buy one of the Wilkin and Son's (tiptree) UK set honeys; lincolnhsire, yorkshire or just english blossom.

none of the family like runny honey, and as we use it as medicine as well as sweet treat, it needs to be one we'd all enjoy ;)
oh how I love my tea, tea in the afternoon. I can't do without it, and I think I'll have another cup very
ve-he-he-he-heryyyyyyy soooooooooooon!!!!

User avatar
StripyPixieSocks
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 1175
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:34 pm
Location: Carnyorth, Cornwall

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 233918Post StripyPixieSocks
Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:36 am

Rosendula wrote:I've been doing a bit of reading about the honey we can buy in UK supermarkets and decided to write to Rowse to ask if their honey is raw (slightly off topic, I know, but I was interested :wink: ). This is the reply I have just received:
Thank you for your email and your interest in our honeys.

All of our honeys arrive to us in it’s raw, and in most cases semi solid form. We gently heat our honeys so it has more of a liquid consistency as this enables us to strain out any naturally occurring debris. As we only warm our honeys through, the honey we pack into our bottles and jars is still raw honey.
It tells you on the jar where the honey is from, none of this 'blend from who-knows-where' stuff.
If you look at the small print on Rowes jars (as we did a couple of weeks ago) it says it's a blend of EU and non EU Honey.

indy
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 493
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Dorset, England

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 233975Post indy
Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:53 pm

Also so very glad I buy local honey. This has been a most enlightening thread :pale:
Sing like nobody's listening, live like there's no tomorrow, dance like nobody's watching and love like you've never been hurt.

Lilyfae
Tom Good
Tom Good
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 5:09 pm
Location: West London

Re: Honey Contamination

Post: # 234075Post Lilyfae
Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:21 pm

Thanks for this information now am really glad bullied hubby into buying jar from local beekeepers association- read properly when got jar home and the lady only lives in our road!! Know which door to knock at now!

On another point though there is such a difference between local honey and supermarket stuff, proved it to hubby by blind testing three honeys in our cupboard (local, rowse and taste the difference thyme) and he agrees it's worth buying local.

Post Reply