Need another reason to eat (or harvest your own) local honey?

Andrew Schneider’s recent exposé about the Asian honey market will give you at least one.

His article, featured in Food Safety News, shines light on several issues that contribute to “funny honey.” According to Schneider, honey imported to the US from China can hardly even be called honey. At this point honey from China can contain a wide array of additives such as cor syrup, sugar water and malt sweeteners. “In recent years, many shippers have eliminated the honey completely and just use thickened, colored, natural or chemical sweeteners labeled as honey,” Schneider writes. Not only that, but other contaminates like heavy metals and antibiotics have been found in Chinese honey.

While the Food and Drug Administration is tasked with regulating this imported honey, the government is already off to a poor start, as there’s no legal definition of what honey is. In his article, Schneider points out one FDA regulation surrounding tainted honey: “Food is adulterated if it bears or contains a poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health” and “damage or inferiority has been concealed.”

That’s where local beekeeping can come to the rescue! Non-funny honey — serious honey — is so delicious it doesn’t need additives.

October 5, 2011