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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Grahamsville, NY
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    440

    Default Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    I've found this article just recently, and many facts surprised me.

    For example:
    "•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. "

    From: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/1.../#.UQ1sbh3m1n5


    Boris Romanov

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    5,980

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    100 percent of the honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonaldís and KFC had the pollen removed. "
    Its difficult to give much credibility to someone who tests the pollen in the "honey" at KFC. Its labeled as 93% sauce, not honey. Even KFC claims its only 7% honey!

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    2,346

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Dont feed that to your bee's for sure. Well maybe it is ok since it is HFCS.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Citrus County, Florida, United States
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    258

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    This is why things like True Source Honey program exists...

    http://www.truesourcehoney.com/true-source-certified/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,834

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    I may be mistaken, but I thought I read somewhere recently, maybe even on here, that if the pollen is completely removed from the honey, that technically its not honey anymore. Can HFCS be detected in honey, just wondering? John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    er, True Source Honey imports honey "loads", removes the pollen, repacks. AKA a "self regulating" industry redefining what honey should be: a processed product.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
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    708

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    The point of True Source (I think) is that we know packers are going to remove the pollen because pollen causes granulation and stores hate granulation. The longer the honey sits on a shelf in a store, the less pollen can be in it if it's ever going to sell before it granulates. Think about how much honey actually gets sold from a pharmacy, not much. That honey must sit there a long time. I have a hard time blaming any packer for removing the pollen. So True Source tests the honey, actually they have an outside independent company test the honey, prior to being put in the barrel at the source location to ensure that the honey really is honey from that location. They also have people from that outside company visit the beekeepers to ensure that the beekeepers actually have the size of operation necessary to provide the honey they claim to provide....no more 2 hive beekeeper magically producing 10 ton. So when a consumer buys True Source, they may not know from where on the globe it came, but they know it's honey.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by libhart View Post
    So when a consumer buys True Source, they may not know from where on the globe it came, but they know it's honey.
    Actually, True Source standards include an accurate country of origin.
    True Source Honey firmly believes that consumers want products that clearly identify the origin of the products they consume. True Source Certified was created to deliver just that – proven country of origin, fully party audited, pure honey. True Source Honey takes the position that every container of honey sold in the United States should clearly indicate where that product originated and certify that claim using an independent audit firm. This program has been established under the name True Source Certified.

    Complete standards document here:
    http://www.truesourcehoney.com/true-...2012-08-01.pdf
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
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    708

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Oh good. I wasn't sure if honey labelled as True Source really needed to print the source country or not...guess that would make sense since the word source is in the name....just ignore my dumbness

  10. #10
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    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    1,960

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    The answer is to buy your honey only from me. I'll take you right to the yard and let you buy the frame right out of the hive.

  11. #11
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    Apr 2010
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    Lititz, PA, USA
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    708

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Of course, I'll take my frames from my hives as well, but we're talking about regular non-beekeeping consumers who shop in supermarkets and believe that delicious porkchop wasn't once a cute pig with a face but is somehow "made" in the back. They're getting smarter, but the more help they can get, the better.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
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    470

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    When people have tasted our honey they say I love your honey and say things like OH MY GOD that is good.
    I would have to agree with them. I'm sure the pollen influences the flavor so taking it out is probably reducing subtle flavors and smells.
    Awareness is growing about bees and honey. People have asked me a bunch of questions about honey being raw and helping with allergies and all kinds of things. On a small scale I am optimistic that there are people in my area that are wanting to buy fresh raw honey.
    Quality is worth seeking out. At Farmaid this year at Hershey Park they talked about buying locally and things that are fresh and the importance of the family farm etc. Local honey could surely fall into that spectrum.

  13. #13
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    I do everything I can to educate the consumer what they are getting when they buy honey from me, and I also let them know how the majority of supermarket honey's are processed. I coarse strain my honey with minimal heating to make straining quicker and that's about it. I tell consumers that most supermarket honey is fine filtered to remove the pollen and that it is heated to a high temperature to retard granulation, which destroys nutrients. I let them make the decision which honey to buy after that. John

  14. #14
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    Jul 2006
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    Grahamsville, NY
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    I do everything I can to educate the consumer what they are getting when they buy honey from me, and I also let them know how the majority of supermarket honey's are processed... John
    I completely support such approach.
    Boris Romanov

  15. #15
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    Jun 2012
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    Citrus County, Florida, United States
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey


  16. #16
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    Nov 2012
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    Haymarket, Virginia
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    I do everything I can to educate the consumer what they are getting when they buy honey from me, and I also let them know how the majority of supermarket honey's are processed. I coarse strain my honey with minimal heating to make straining quicker and that's about it. I tell consumers that most supermarket honey is fine filtered to remove the pollen and that it is heated to a high temperature to retard granulation, which destroys nutrients. I let them make the decision which honey to buy after that. John
    If you saw someone in a grocery reaching for generic honey would you bother with educating them on local honey?

    Happened to me last week. I wanted to say something, but thought it might not be the best idea since I'm not yet a beekeeper, nor do I have local honey to offer in lieu of what was on the shelf.

  17. #17
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Nature Coast beek View Post
    This is right on the mark. Honey packers deliver what the largely ignorant (and I dont use that word as an insult) buying public demands. They want a convenient to use easily dispensed LIQUID product. If their product granulated on the shelf, it is just not very marketable to the majority of shoppers. The stores will usually pull it off the shelf and charge back the product to the supplier. If that product granulates at home in their pantry it may well get thrown out and a repeat customer is lost. This is the reality folks, honey packers filter their honey because of economic necessity not because it is cheap and easy to do or because they are hiding something. Is something lost when honey is heated and filtered? You betcha there is.....but it's still honey. Just analyze what is sold in grocery stores nowadays and you will see its all about convenience. The modern consumer wants to pop their meal in the microwave and eat it on the run, and we expect them to patiently heat their jar of sugared honey in warm water or dig it out of a container? It's not going to happen. So let's not lump all honey packers together as purveyors of illegally sourced adulterated honey. The folks here on Beesource understand that granulation is a sign of honey purity the public at large is clueless.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #18
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    Apr 2008
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    Leominster, MA USA
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    169

    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by urbanoutlaw View Post
    If you saw someone in a grocery reaching for generic honey would you bother with educating them on local honey?

    Happened to me last week. I wanted to say something, but thought it might not be the best idea since I'm not yet a beekeeper, nor do I have local honey to offer in lieu of what was on the shelf.
    Quote Originally Posted by urbanoutlaw View Post
    If you saw someone in a grocery reaching for generic honey would you bother with educating them on local honey?

    Happened to me last week. I wanted to say something, but thought it might not be the best idea since I'm not yet a beekeeper, nor do I have local honey to offer in lieu of what was on the shelf.
    It's not about "local" but understanding and trusting what is in the bottle. A "local" packing address does not ensure that the honey is local, nor does a "local" beekeeper address. Packers buy honey from many sources. Some beekeepers do as well. "Beekeeper mystique" and health codes that require a certified kitchen if one is bottling bought-in honey can make it difficult to know what exactly is in the jar. Labels are generally not helpful in the search for truth.

    Last week I was in several stores, giving out tastes to promote our products. I saw orange blossom honey from a local-ish packer tagged as "local", here in Massachusetts. A customer came to my table with a jar of a different southern blossom honey from another local company. She was very surprised to hear that just because the packing address is local does not mean the honey is local. "Wildflower" honey from a local company is not necessarily produced from fields in-state.

    The word "local" has taken on a life of its own and has come to be, for many, a projection of hopes and dreams. Many have lost faith in "organic" but those desires for a better world have been transferred to "local". "Local" does not ensure quality, any more than non-local means a lesser quality product.

    The important thing is to know and trust the source of what you are purchasing which isn't an easy task.

    After sampling and hearing about the beekeepers who produced what I have to offer, the customer returned the jar she was about to buy to the shelf and chose one of the honeys I was selling, non-local and at a higher price.

    If you are educating others, do your very best to be sure you know what you are telling them is true.

    Ramona

  19. #19
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    Apr 2008
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    Leominster, MA USA
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    This is right on the mark. Honey packers deliver what the largely ignorant (and I dont use that word as an insult) buying public demands. They want a convenient to use easily dispensed LIQUID product. If their product granulated on the shelf, it is just not very marketable to the majority of shoppers. The stores will usually pull it off the shelf and charge back the product to the supplier. If that product granulates at home in their pantry it may well get thrown out and a repeat customer is lost. This is the reality folks, honey packers filter their honey because of economic necessity not because it is cheap and easy to do or because they are hiding something. Is something lost when honey is heated and filtered? You betcha there is.....but it's still honey. Just analyze what is sold in grocery stores nowadays and you will see its all about convenience. The modern consumer wants to pop their meal in the microwave and eat it on the run, and we expect them to patiently heat their jar of sugared honey in warm water or dig it out of a container? It's not going to happen. So let's not lump all honey packers together as purveyors of illegally sourced adulterated honey. The folks here on Beesource understand that granulation is a sign of honey purity the public at large is clueless.

    Um, we've tested honey that was granulated - it came up as 20% beet sugar. This was in a jar, at a fancy up-scale urban market with a local label on it. Beekeeper had bought it in in a 5 gallon pail from a "local" producer and was mortified when told. Can't imagine how many of those 5 gallon buckets have gone to other beekeepers.

    Whether a honey is crystallized or not is related to processing (heating/filtering), not purity. Doesn't pure HFCS also crystallize?

    As to selling crystallized honey, all our honey is sold that way. Yes, it takes a while to educate the customers but we have had zero push-back from the stores we sell to. The beautiful thing about crystallized honey is that it is what it is, it isn't going to change over time on the shelf.

    Almost all of our customers have skipped over the warming stuff and go straight to scooping out of the jar. We explain that with the exception of a very few plant nectars, all honey will crystallize over time. Honey that is unheated/unfiltered will crystallize faster. Nectar sources also determine the speed. I ask if they would heat up a bottle of expensive wine and that settles the matter quickly.

    We've been at this for almost five years - it's fun to see the customer attitudes shift and to sell more and more crystallized honey! So don't say it isn't going to happen - it IS happening. The honey producers/sellers should expect to be at least as patient as their potential customers

    Ramona

  20. #20
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Ramona: What you are doing is great but it dosent really address the scope of what we as an industry are dealing with. Educating your customers and educating a nation of potential honey consumers are two entirely different undertakings. Large retailers care about giving their consumer what they want today, they don't have the means nor the will to educate them.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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