Just because the label says "Honey" doesn't mean a bee would eat it

According to the honey industry, China is dumping tons of stuff in the United States that a bee wouldn't recognize.

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Many other countries and the European Union already require that sort of labeling, reports Gellerman.

“In theUnited States, the only requirements are that you not add water or sugar and that you remove any bee parts that are in the honey. Do that and it can be sold as honey. But by removing the pollen, perfectly legal in theUnited States, you’re also removing the only nutrient in the honey, Bryant told Food and Safety News..

“You take the pollen out, the only thing you’ve got is sugar,” he said. “The pollen does in fact contain amino acids, it contains starches, it also contains fats and vitamins and various kinds of minerals. A lot of people eat honey because of the nutritional value.”

In his study, Bryant found was that most discount and convenience store chains are selling honey that has no pollen. So are the big grocery chains.

“Buyer beware, because most of what you buy in the store, in terms of honey, is not what the label says,” Bryant said. “One of the things that we’ve discovered, not only can we not tell where the stuff comes from, but premium honey that’s being sold like buckwheat or orange blossom or sage or thyme honey – and people were willing to pay premium prices for this very exotic types of honey – we can’t confirm that any of that stuff is actually coming from those plants.”

The only way consumers can make sure they’re getting real honey with the maximum pollen benefits is to buy locally, Bryant said.


The best thing to do is to find a local beekeeper and buy it directly from him – cutting out the expensive “organic” grocery stores.

“This commercial stuff isn’t honey,” Bryant said.

Plastic honey bears

In fact, reports Andrew Schneider at Food Safety News, more than three-fourths of the honey sold inU.S. grocery stores isn’t technically honey.

“The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies,” writes Schneider. “In theU.S., the Food and Drug Administration says that any product that’s been ultra-filtered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. However, the FDA isn’t checking honey sold here to see if it contains pollen.”

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Rob Kerby
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