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I just found some local comb honey at a natural food store here, and it says its "organically produced". I'm assuming that means that he doesn't use chemicals in his hive, but can't say where his bees might wander in this fairly densely populated area. Any other thoughts on how to interpret this label?
 

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His label should be considered just about anything. Since it is not implying being certified, using the label as such indicates something less than the full criteria of being certified. For one producer, this could mean its about the same as organic certification, but I know others that try to skirt around the certification process and use the word organic in many ways, all trying to sound like its organic. It may very well be. But I question anyone using the term without actually being certified. Sometimes its marketing, sometime fluff. Sometimes just B.S.

If the definition, requirements and understanding for certification is that some requirments such as a land use study be accomplished, then how can anyone really say they are "produced organically" if they have not fully fullfilled the requirments. I would easily fail the requirments due to the extensive farming in my area. I think many of those smaller operations who claim exemption from the standards in place, probably would also.

After attending an organic meeting, and knowing that the forage area must be scrutinized, everything placed into the hive such as sugar for feed must come from organic origins, and other requirements, for those sugggesting "organically grown", I doubt some even know what would be involved in producing certified organic honey.

I certainly know many more using the term "organic" in some variation, than those who are actually certified. Each state is different in thier certifying requirements and process. Call the state Agriculture office and get a number to the certifying agency. They should be able to answer it very clearly.

Newtown, your comment hit the answer on the head. Without knowing his bees forage area, how can he, or you, assume that its organic? You can't. I doubt he did his own land use study without it being part of the certifying process.

I also know one nature store that openly admitted to me that they buy honey from Dutch Gold (a rather large packer who brings in foriegn honey) and they repackage it for "local, raw honey". I asked about the "local" part, and he answered by asking "define local?" He did in fact buy it local. But it certainly was not "produced" locally.

I am skeptical of anyone I don't know.
 

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WOW!!!!!!! Organically produced sugar that is placed in the hives for honeybees to consume. Wow! WOW!!. Will honey ever be [REALLY] organic as long as the bees must forage far and wide for nectar??
 

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Oldbee, Not by the standards in place in Pennsylvania anyways. For the record, I think the standards and certification process is absurd, and unrealistic.

But yes, even the sugar used for feed must be from organic sources.
 

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WE WILL ALL DIE SOMEDAY!!. How much HONEY do you consume in a year? How many pounds of fish from the sea [or freshwater lakes] do you consume that are "contaminated with" MERCURY and other "things"? We have quite a number of farmers markets around here; progressive Madison,Wi.]. Some of the venders tout that their products are ORGANIC!!; and you know what, they like to charge 15.00 to 20.00 dollars a pound that would normally cost 5 to 10.
 

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I agree. The best way to obtain high quality food is to know the person who made it and *how* it was made. Barring that, then I would go for an accurate statement of where it was made. Branding means almost nothing in the world of fresh local foods. Walmart sells "organic" foods in State College, but they don't buy from any of the trusted local producers.
 

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BjornBee,
I am glad you said "For the record, I think the standards and certification process is absurd, and unrealistic." Because your earlier comment "It may very well be. But I question anyone using the term without actually being certified. Sometimes its marketing, sometime fluff. Sometimes just B.S."

As a grower/producer I use to use the word Organic until the government got involved with it and has laid claim to the word, so one must pay $600 a year for certification, which is no more then money grabbing by the Government again. The way i feel I was using the word just fine as defined in Websters. But, now it has gone overboard. I tell people I am organic but not certified.
I don't think the government owns that word, "Organic" and any one can use it as long as they are not saying certified when they are not.
In my case I can not afford to pay the cost and its not fair to say I can't call my fruits and vegetables organic because I am not certified.
As long as I do not use man-made chemicals of any kind on or near the plants of produce, I am organic, to heck with what the person next door is doing.
 

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More important than a catchy word we should all be looking at the long term sustainability of bee keeping, and honey production. Then market locally.
This brings the question of how safe is your area?
 
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