A Sweet Deal: Local Raw Honey

Posted on May 22, 2010. Filed under: Daily Update | Tags: , , , |

If you’ve been reading for the past week, you’d know my newest obsession: local, raw honey.

Raw Local Honey

Raw Local Honey

You’ve seen me eat it on yogurt…

Plain Chobani With Local Raw Honey

Plain Chobani With Local Raw Honey

And all by itself…

Raw Local Honey

Raw Local Honey

Of course, honey is new to none. And I’ve used it to bake plenty of times before. So why the obsession? Local honey is simply not “just” another sweetener or sugar substitute. I hope to convince you by the end that this is some of the best medicine for your body and soul.

Honey is produced from bees. Specifically, a beekeeper takes the honeycombs from the hive and squeezes out the honey often through a strainer like a cheesecloth. Mass-produced honey is often heated to high temperatures to make it the translucent, neutrally flavored sweetener found in supermarkets. “Raw” honey is never heated above the temperature of the hives, keeping the enzymes in tact and making for a thicker, more crystallized product.

Raw honey can be bought at most natural grocer’s stores and even Trader Joe’s now. However, while this is marginally better than mass-produced honey, I would assert that it’s not what you should be looking for. The real health benefits of honey lie in locally produced jars. Look for these at a farmer’s market, or even some small natural grocers might be supplied by local producers.

Local honey has a laundry list of benefits. Like all honey, it’s a source of energy. It lubricates the throat. It can aid poor digestion and keeps bad bacteria from growing in the stomach(source). The greatest benefit from local honey comes from the allergens. Because it’s unpasteurized, the allergens from the air which the bees fed on is still present. And because it’s local, this is the same allergens in the air which you yourself breed. And so, by eating the honey, you’re introducing these to your body, but in a limited form. By doing so, you build your resistance to the allergens(source). A lot of people–including myself–would swear by raw honey as protection against these over the Summer.

Manuka honey from New Zealand is prized as one of the most holistic, but runs a high price. Trader Joe’s honey is raw, but manufactured in Mexico. And so, which is the best for you? I would argue whichever is produced closest to home. That way, the allergens the bees feed off of are most similar to the ones you breathe. Look for honey producers at a farmers’ market.

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12 Responses to “A Sweet Deal: Local Raw Honey”

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Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog about my photography! I am such a newbie but really love it. I haven’t had honey in so long but if I bought it, local would be the only way I’d go!

I’ve seen a local raw honey vendor at one of the farmer’s markets. Your posts and pictures have me curious. I’ll check it out. I did find some amazing local honey at a fruit and berry patch back home. Not sure if it was raw but it was delicious!

p.s. Thank you for citing your sources. I hate when people essentially copy, paste, and pass it off as their own.

That honey looks delightful! no wonder you are in love with it!

Great post….but it’s still sugar bottom line right?

Like I said, “Local honey is simply *not* just another sweetener or sugar substitute. I hope to convince you by the end that this is some of the best medicine for your body and soul.”

Wow, you can really crank out the posts. I struggle with 1 a day!

I just bought some raw honey from Baltimore (20 min. drive…idk if that counts as local lol). I didn’t know about the allergen benefits…I’ll have to tell my mom that

Evan, that’s positively insane and interesting (re: Local allergens in the honey). I love that fact!

Very, VERY interesting!! So, can you feed your children locally grown honey? I know you aren’t supposed to feed infants honey, but I think this has to do with botulism. I can’t eat honey because of the high fructose content. I’m so sad about that. I LOVE honey, so much 😦

I think it follows the same rule towards children/infants as regular honey since I never read anything against that. Then again, I think *really *holistic people might say it’s OK for young children, but unless a credited doctor would say otherwise I wouldn’t trust the information.

I love raw, locally produced honey! Not nearly as intensely as you do, but I will no longer touch the processed junk we pretend is real honey. Glad to see we all have local producers to rely on!

to answer the question about honey and children, even pretty crunchy parents do not feed honey to children under 1 yr. It has to do with what is called complete gut closure. i.e. the intestinal mucosa are fully in tact and closed and able to fight against the rare but lethal exposure to botulism if it was there. That said, most honey in stores is so pasteurized and treated that shy of taking your 3 mo old to a beehive in the country, I think you’re safe 🙂

Great post Evan. Personal fave is manuka. God. love it. And local of course.

Oh wow I didn’t know all that about honey! I was going to buy some this weekend, but I’m moving out in 2 weeks so I think I’m just going to wait for now.

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