Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why I Only Buy Local Honey

I have always bought local honey because I have always heard that honey is a powerful immune system builder and that eating the honey from your local area provides the best immunity  for people in that area. But now there is a new reason to make sure your honey is local. A reason that you may not like. 
However, before I get to the honey, I want to take a minute to ramble about my morning out and bumping into this real live turkey!!  

About twenty minutes from our house there is a roadside nursery ( Carousel Village in Bucks County, Pa - Writghtstown) with fall attractions for families that include hayrides, family train rides, corn mazes and a little zoo which includes turkeys! I have to admit that I don't think I have ever really seen a real turkey before, especially not one that looked like this one. I have seen  a few packs of wild turkeys running around some of our road sides , but they are dark in color, not very feathery, and don't have the beautiful fan. This authentic bird really did make gurgling noises that sounded like, " Gobble Gobble" .. 

Before I get to the honey, I want to mention that  there was an ice cream store ( Wow Cow )  on the premises. I was delightfully surprised to find out that their ice cream is made from only organic milk from a local farm and all of the flavors are made with organic raw local honey, organic berries, and even some organic vegetables ( they had flavors like butternut squash). They also had flavors like lavender/honey, rosewater cardamom, blueberry lemon, in addition to the more common flavors.

I test tasted the rosewater cardamom and was instantly in heaven.

What a great find! They make ice cream cakes to order ( somewhat pricey, but absolutely beautiful and given that  everything is organic and natural, it is well worth the price. ( if you are in Bucks County 215-598-3248)

They also sell raw local honey.
I recently read an article which suggests that you only buy local honey because most other honey sold in the US is actually  from China ( and could be tainted)  and  is only packaged in the US. China removes the pollen from the honey so it can't be traced to the country of origin and it's mostly smuggled out to India who then sells it to us.

When I googled " honey and China" lots of articles came up. The consensus of the articles  seemed to be that the laundering of honey from China to India who then sells it to the US is well known.

According to one article from Nov 2011 :  ( click to go to article

The following is excerpts from the article about honey

Bryant, who is director of the Palynology Research Laboratory, found that among the containers of honey provided by Food Safety News: 
76 percent of samples bought at groceries had all the pollen removed, These were stores like TOP Food, Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop & Shop and King Soopers.
100 percent of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen.
77 percent of the honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and H-E-B had the pollen filtered out. 
100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald’s and KFC had the pollen removed.
Bryant found that every one of the samples Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen. 
The FDA — either because of lack of interest or resources — devoted little effort to inspecting imported honey. Nevertheless, the agency had occasionally either been told of, or had stumbled upon, Chinese honey contaminated with chloramphenicol and other illegal animal antibiotics which are dangerous, even fatal, to a very small percentage of the population.
 Mostly, the adulteration went undetected. Sometimes FDA caught it.
In one instance 10 years ago, contaminated Chinese honey was shipped to Canada and then on to a warehouse in Houston where it was sold to jelly maker J.M. Smuckers and the national baker Sara Lee.
By the time the FDA said it realized the Chinese honey was tainted, Smuckers had sold 12,040 cases of individually packed honey to Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Sara Lee said it may have been used in a half-million loaves of bread that were on store shelves.
Sounds like a good reason to buy local honey. 

I was thrilled with my new find for raw local honey, fabulous organic ice cream, and some interesting zoo animals. It was a fun morning out with my grandchildren (and their parents). We took a hayride, played in the corn stalk maze and picked pumpkins.The weather was sunny and the temperature was a pleasant 60. A beautiful fall day!

What have you heard about honey? Do you buy local.

Will be shared on the following blog carnivals: 

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  1. It is amazing how much we take for granted that is safe for us!
    I was disappointed with the last little bear bottle of honey that I purchased. I just ASSUMED that it was okay, until I noticed when I was putting it away that it was a honey "flavored" syrup. I am much more aware of the labels on everything I buy now and I found a local beekeeper to purchase all my delicious honey from.

  2. I just bought honey at a farm in NJ made from wildflowers. I usually only buy clover. I also heard about the health properties such as helping the immune system and keeping seasonal allergies at bay. I love Bucks County. Next trip I am going to track down this ice cream place. xo

  3. Awesome post. we love local honey. I tweeted this out but couldn't find your twitter handle to tag you. :-)

  4. I only buy local honey too! and eggs and cheese! If it's not local I'm vegan. Isn't it terrible how many things people don't know about what they eat, like China honey or factory farming both which are terrible and not good for people or animals. So glad you talked about this!

  5. Great information. I only buy local raw honey from a minister who sells in the farmers markets and shops around town. It's really delicious and we use it all the time!

  6. Hello! Found you from Simply Indulgent Tuesday. I second the "great information". I only buy local raw honey as well, and have about a teaspoon a day:) Love that it keeps me healthy and supports our family friend farmer, who keeps the bees to make it:)

  7. I do buy local honey. A lady at our Farmer's Market sells it and it is fantastic. Thank you for sharing with See Ya In the Gumbo.

  8. Wow! Where is that ice cream store? That's so cool!

    I love raw local honey, and it is SO different from store bought stuff. Great post.

    I'd love it if you'd share this on my healthy living link-up:

  9. I so agree! Local honey is always best.. Thank you for sharing with us at Healthy 2Day Wednesdays!

  10. I heard that there is very little honey in Chinese honey that it's mostly sugar. We keep our own bees the health benefits to us and the environment can not be exaggerated.

  11. Hi Judee,
    I love your post and we are great fans of Local Honey, and keep it all the time. Have a fabulous weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  12. I am right there with you! Our friends have bees within a few miles from our house so we get their honey! Got it tweeted and pinned!

  13. I knew about buying local honey and I practice that... but honey coming from China is newer to me in the last few months. Thank you for the info!

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