Pre-packed honey sold at groceries stores has been getting plenty of attention recently, and not in a good way. Namely, it is now said that honey found in stores around you, even healthy ones, is far more filtered than initially believed. With that, the quality of processed honey is significantly reduced and enriched in processed chemicals.
According to Food Safety News, around 76% of all honey found in stores has undergone an ‘ultra-filtration’ process. This process was designed to purify the honey wax and eliminate pollen compounds from the final product. As you may imagine, this poses a serious health threat to honey consumers worldwide.
Pollen is considered one of honey’s ‘impurities,’ but it is actually beneficial to our health. Ultra-filtration seemingly cleanses traces of pollen from honey, without any additional benefits of the process itself. As per the FSN, one of the main reasons to avoid ultra-filtered honey is because pollen allows tracing the honey back to its place of production. When pollen is not part of the final product, many labels experiment with making honey and have the liberty to sell modified of it.
Vaughn Bryant, a Texas A&M University professor, notes that in grocery store honey, almost ¾ of the product contained no pollen. With that, he also found that:
- 100 % of Winnie the Pooh honey in Walmart had zero pollen in it.
- 100 % of honey from food chains like KFC and McDonald’s had zero pollen in it.
- 77 % of honey from stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and Target had zero pollen in it.
- 100 % of honey from stores like Walgreen’s and CVS Pharmacy had all pollen filtered from the product.
On the flips side, Professor Bryant found that honey bought at farmer’s markets and stores like Trader Joes had preserved the entire pollen content in the product.
This alarmed many people across America, who called the FDA for action, to no real avail yet.
At the same time, within the EU, honey regulations have already entered into force. That said, the EU is now demanding specific honey labels, which must list ‘pollen’ as an ingredient if they are to be sold on the market.
Typically, an ounce of raw honey contains around 20 vitamins, 18 amino acids, 16 minerals, and a handful of both phytonutrients and antioxidants. Aside from these, raw honey also contains lots of vitamin B content, such as B2, B3, B5, and B6. Together with these, raw honey also offers vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, sulfur and phosphate content.
Ultra-filtration is a serious health threat for regular and occasional honey consumers, as it takes away the benefits of the product and introduces refined sugars instead. With that comes the need to pay attention to the type of honey we buy, its labeling, and its place of production.
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