As I stated many times in many threads, I am not an expert in beekeeping. I am a hobbyist.
As I stated many times in many threads, I am not an expert in beekeeping. I am a hobbyist.
1. That there are no peer reviewed studies that show "local honey" (unheated, unfiltered) helps with allergies.
2. That there are no peer reviewed studies (or even reasonable anecdotal observations) that compares "local" unheated, unfiltered honey with "exotic" unheated unfiltered honey wrt allergy issues.
3. Claims that local honey helps with allergies are almost always accompanied by the claim that it is "the local pollens in the honey" that helps with allergies....yet, there is no attention on what pollens are actually in the honey. Does wind born pollen end up in honey in appreciable enough concentrations to have an effect? How does honey that is harvested in the spring help with fall allergies?
I can cite a book if you like that claims that any pollen in the honey is helpful for pollen allergies...regardless of the source. It isn't peer reviewed, it isn't even science....it is a book on pollen for health.
What you should also understand:
1. That Ramona and I make our living selling honey. Raw honey from hives that are not treated, that is not filtered (ultra or otherwise).
2. We pay our producers a premium for their honey.
3. That we got into the honey business specifically because we saw what we consider an outstanding product from a pristine environment get sold to large packers for commodity prices...to be turned into commodity honey. It broke our hearts, and we saw that there was an opportunity.
I don't believe for a second that there are many (if any) commercial beekeepers that would prefer to eat their own honey _after_ it has been packed by a large packer rather than straight out of the extractor or settling tank (Jim, Ian, what do you have on your own table in your own home?)
We have customers that buy our Arizona honey and claim it helps their allergies here in Massachusetts.
We never sell honey as an allergy relief. Obviously, we often get people at our table who want to talk about allergies....if I feel like they are open, I have a discussion with them about it...citing the wind pollinated plants they are allergic to and the seasonal variations...that the thesis that "local" honey helps allergies because of the specific local pollen in the honey has a lot of holes in it. Sometimes I get a sense they don't want to hear it, and I tell them I don't have the local honey (produced within 5-50 miles depending on the person making the claim), and send them off to buy something with a local tag on it (even if the honey is not local).
We get all kinds of people looking for honey to cure specific things..sometimes "woman problems"...I had one guy a few years ago (not sure where he was from...somewhere in South America I think) that was looking for honey to help with "sperm" (he was not more specific, thankfully). His wife was going to make him have some kind of surgery if he couldn't cure the problem with honey.
We say what we always say...that we make no medical claims about our honey or any honey, but if raw unfiltered honey is what they are looking for, that's what we have. When asked which of the honeys is "best" for a specific problem, we try to get them to select on the taste they prefer...but some insist on a recommendation....I usually point out the one with the lowest moisture content has the most "other" things in it besides water.
If I am mistaken or misinformed on any of this, please correct me.
With all of that said, the "industry" doesn't seem motivated to push what I consider "higher quality" (less heat, less filtration), and there are legitimate marketing reasons to remove the pollen (to keep it from crystallizing on the shelf). Should I spend my energy telling everyone else what to do when they are making more money _not_ doing what I think they should do? Clearly their goals and mine are not the same...I don't see a problem with that...I see opportunity.
COPY of my POST:
I cannot accept your comments, especially with your previous statements: "I do not know how much of a problem filtered honey is, Im not completely familiar with packer practices.
But, what I do know is how my packer operates, to which Im a part of. Kinda makes me feel all good and fuzzy inside,
www.beemaid.com" (your Post #96).
I know about www.beemaid.com" very well. I tried BeeMaid "honey" from my local Shop Rite Superstore, therefore I cannot call it HONEY.
Please do not misinform forum's members.
In my post I said: "I know about www.beemaid.com" very well. I tried BeeMaid "honey" from my local Shop Rite Superstore, therefore I cannot call it HONEY."
Once again - it's not ethical to call/label forever liquid substance as HONEY!
And please remember the title of the original article: "Tests Show Most Store Honey Isn’t Honey"
Ian and Mark - could you show us please some real proofs that you are more knowledgeable with this issue , than Bryant, who is director of the Palynology Research Laboratory.
Cmon Jim. Oftentimes the customer is not getting what they thought they were getting. Heating, filtering, feeding, treating aside....much of what is sold as "local" honey (at least around here) is not local, not produced by the beekeeper that claims to have produced it. This "buying in honey as your own" practice seems to be baseline, and no one (selling honey) seems to object. Heck, even the NHB did their own market research in 2009:Quote:
We don't appreciate uninformed and slanted articles such as this implying that the consumer is being given something other than what they thought they were getting.
"One-quarter of the total number of respondents do not know that pure honey has no other ingredients. Those that believe there are ingredients added to honey expect to find various syrups, sugars and/or preservatives on the ingredient listing."
...so what is it you think people think they are getting when they buy honey?
....if you really wish this, I'm not sure what you are objecting to. If unprocessed raw honey has qualities that your honey (once it leaves the packing facility) does not have, why would you object to having that pointed out.Quote:
I wish everyone could be informed about the quality of unprocessed raw honey, it sure would make things easier for everyone in this industry. Unfortunately they aren't.
There is nothing that prevents you, a family member, an enterprising young kid, a mother or father with a background in marketing who wants to work on their own time from coming up with a marketing plan that matches with your wishes. I'm not criticizing you for not doing so...we all have to decide where our resources are best spent...but it is not impossible nor prohibited. It's your darn honey until you sell it....you can do with it as you please.
Dean: for the record, I eat honey every day and, no, it has not been filtered. We pack only 3 to 4 thousand pounds a year for local customers and landowners. We heat it to about 120 degrees while constantly stirring for a few hours to make sure it's fully liquified and dosent scald. After it has been thoroughly warmed we allow it to cool for a few hours to a good bottling temp to clarify and skim off any "settings". It usually stays liquid for about a year depending on the primary floral source that year and, yeah, it's gonna have a few "floaties" in there. We pass it out with the usual advice about gently rewarming it if it granulates and we still get a few comments about the "spoiled" honey in the basement. The very best honey, no doubt, is fresh out of the tank on the day it's extracted and yes a few savvy honey buyers come walking into our extracting room mid summer with jar in hand. The only education those folks need is to watch out for bees and forklifts. ;)
>>Jim, Ian, what do you have on your own table in your own home?)<<
My packer sends through a run of my product to which I provide for sale, and own use.
Dean: I can't disagree with too much you are saying here, but until a savvy honey marketer approaches me with an offer and a plan to sell it as an upscale value added product then nothing really changes does it. The only place large quantities of bottling honey are sold are in the Wal Marts and large supermarkets and those buyers look at revenue per foot of shelf space. They care about liability and they care about moving product. Try talking enzymes and pollen content and watch their eyes glaze over. Who would you sell to if you were me? The buyer offering $2.00 a pound with a good track record of paying on time or waiting around for the $2.50 or $3.00 dream?
Jim, I don't have any criticism for what you are doing.
To [mis]quote Neil Young:
"Raw honey is better, bumper stickers should be issued"
Boris, your missing a real treat ! They sell a very high quality product sold around the world. We take alot of pride in the product we produce. BeeMaid is one of the few North American packers who can link the honey on the self right back to the hive it came from.
My initial objection to filtration was of the Chinese honey filtered to remove antibiotics and other adulterating products. That kink of filtration requires heating, watering down and sending the product through a very fine filter. That is not common practice, you know that right? It is so sad to see honey treated in that manner sold beside honey presented to the public in a respectable manner.
If the public had a choice between "Ultra filtered Honey" or "Our Processed Honey" or "Raw honey" to where as the discription of its handling was present on the label,
the public would choose our processed and Raw honey everytime. No doubt about it. The battle between our processed honey and raw honey would be the same battle as we are having now,
and my I add, I do not see how we could provide the public with the hundreds of millions of lbs of raw honey on the self. There is a reason why we handle our honey in such a fashion, and I would argue the standards our packer follows are bettered my none
At some point, one has to accept that not everything is the same as everything else, and to accept that a "great" or even "the best" product does not suit everyone's needs.
Thats for sure, and hold towards my hard grained belief that the consumer will decide what is sold to them
But, my appreciation falls a bit short when someone like Boris will slag the product I spend my pride on producing
I cannot accept your statements, especially this one: "...BeeMaid is one of the few North American packers who can link the honey on the self right back to the hive it came from."
The BeeMaid final product, that I bought from Shop Rite was
sweet, processed (therefore probably forever liquid) substance.
It's is clear to me, that you did not manipulate on a final product, but it's not HONEY any more.
So...the same processing....some think it adds value, some think it subtracts value.
Might as well argue PC vs Mac or vanilla vs. chocolate.
To say that unprocessed honey is "better" than processed honey is nothing more than an opinion.
To say that unprocessed honey is "different" than processed honey is a fact.
If you want to claim that these differences are important, then lets start citing some facts. How much pollen is removed from a pound of honey? How much remains? What effect does that pollen have? Would the filtered out pollen, if eaten, help with allergies? What if the pollen was not local? What if the pollen were out of season? What are the quantifiable effects of raw local honey on allergies (not some Russian folklore please....lets look at some actual data)? What are the quantifiable effects of raw exotic honey on allergies? What are the quantifiable effects of inverted sugar syrup on allergies? What are the quantifiable effects of processed honey on allergies?
Although we may not have the answers to all of these questions, the questions themselves seem rather obvious.
But Boris's own posts makes it seem like crystallization is what makes honey honey.....no Tupelo or buckwheat for Boris!...even if it is raw, pure, and unfiltered!