Honey is one of nature’s purest sweeteners… but it’s also a functional food with its own impressive health benefits. Did you know that raw honey contains iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, vitamin B6, and more?
Not all honey is created equal.
Conventional honey (the kind on most grocery store shelves or found in Honey Nut Cheerios) is heavily processed to the point where natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals are destroyed, is often chemically refined, and has been stripped of beneficial phyto-nutrients.
Bees used to make conventional honey can be treated with antibiotics (just like factory farmed animals), and some beekeepers even add pesticides to their hives for mites. In the mass production of honey, bee health is often overlooked, and many are killed in the process of extracting the honey.
Choose raw, organic honey from kind beekeepers.
Raw honey is not refined after being taken from honeycomb, so it contains bee pollen and propolis (which both have anti-allergen properties and boost immunity), natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Unlike processed honey, raw honey still has incredible nutritional value.
When honey is certified organic, it means that the plants (the bees’ source of nectar), their entire foraging area, and their hives are all free of pesticides, antibiotics, and more pollutants.
Small scale beekeepers tend to be much kinder to their bees, and are very gentle when extracting honey to ensure the bees are unharmed. Of course, do your research and ask questions. To see kind beekeeping in action, you can visit Shoresh’s Bela Farm, which has 30 active, happy beehives in their apiary.
Read more tips for being bee friendly here!
Photo from the incredible Beekeeper’s Naturals.