What’s so great about honey? Why not simply use sugar, as it’s definitely cheaper and less messy to use?
Well, there are a few good reasons:
1. Honey is much less refined than sugar
2. Honey is richer in minerals and vitamins
3. Honey is naturally antibacterial and antifungal
4. Honey is soothing and healing to a sore throat
5. Honey may help reduce allergy symptoms
But that only goes for local, unpasteurized honey. The only way you’ll know for sure about your honey’s quality is to buy from a local beekeeper–the closest to your house as possible.
Why? Bees fly several miles for pollen and nectar. This means they’re foraging on the same plants that you’re allergic to. By imbibing in untreated local honey, you’re building an immunity to your local allergens.
Honey that’s been heated to 145* Fahrenheit and kept there for 30 minutes or more is considered to be pasteurized. This is sometimes done to keep the honey from crystallizing, or turning to a (semi) solid.As a beekeeper who sells at farmers’ markets, I can assure you that golden liquid honey is more appealing to shoppers. Most understand when we say we don’t want to kill off the good qualities of the honey by overheating it.
Still, I agree that liquid honey is easier to use on a daily basis. For this I recommend people place their jar of honey in a warm water bath on the stove and keep a close eye on it. It will liquify well below 145* and will usually keep a liquid form if kept at room temperature. While this is not considered pasteurized honey, it’s entirely possible that various microorganisms die off at different temperatures, so be aware that it isn’t truly raw honey any more.
Another good reason to buy from a local beekeeper is that you know they’re selling you pure honey. Studies have shown that about 3/4 of the honey currently being sold in North America is low-grade Chinese honey, often mixed with high fructose corn syrup. The health benefits of such a product? Definitely negative something.
Support your local beekeepers! Without honeybees, many crops we enjoy eating, like coffee and chocolate would not exist.
Do you buy your honey locally? Or better yet, have you considered getting into beekeeping? Share your story!