Sweet as Honey

There isn’t much that is more satisfying to the sweet tooth than the natural goodness of honey. Perfected by nature over millions of years, somehow bees create the perfect table sweetener, seemingly just for our pleasure. Personally, I love the unique tang of honey and prefer it greatly to table sugar or any other sweetener. Nobody could say anything bad about eating honey. It has to be way better that eating table sugar…


If you really think about honey, though, is it really something nature intended us to be able to eat every morning at breakfast? Even though there are a great number of glowing health claims about honey, there are a couple of things that should make eating it on a regular basis the exception in a human life. Does nature really intend for us to eat honey? First, honey is protected by thousands of heavily armed guards. The fact that to get to honey stores we have to knock the guards out with smoke and wear full body armor is a clue to how often we should be eating honey. Also, it is usually found in very remote and hard to reach locations, the kind that Pooh had to climb to get, and that when he got there was in a tight spot, well hidden. Building convenient boxes for our bees to put the honey in that are easy to open and easy to reach kind of defeats the plan of nature. She obviously does not intend that we eat honey every day.

In fact, most bees are not raised by man for the purpose of making honey. The normal job that the bee performs that is much more important to our day to day lives is pollinating flowering fruits. Perhaps you have heard that in this job, the European Honeybee is in mortal danger. Modern bee-keeping practices combined with modern farming practices are resulting in the destruction of over one third of the bee colonies nationwide every winter. Contributing factors include mono-culture, where we raise epic areas of a single crop, creating enormous food deserts for the bee, modern pesticides, where the pesticide is built right into the seeds that we plant, modern herbicides and fungicides, whose effects on adult bees are monitored, but whose effects on juvenile brood bees is not, bee-keeping that involves trucking our bees tens of thousands of miles per year, mingling bees and bee diseases from all over the world in California once per year, stressing the natural methods that bees live, work and reproduce.

Another deterrent to eating honey at every meal should be the difficulty that there is in determining where your honey actually comes from. Honey from China suffers from Chinese agriculture practices too, but for us it means pesticides banned in the US are found in Chinese honey. The way that you can determine whether your honey originated in your country is to collect and analyze the trace amounts of pollen found within it, then you examine the DNA of that pollen. In other words, you can’t. Only your government could do such a thing, and good government costs money, and since that money would have to come from taxes, you won’t be getting the benefit of that kind of good government any time soon. The label on the honey bottle would be no better of a guide, since counterfeit honey is a booming business as you can see from this news report…

How could a person be sure that purchased honey was the real deal? The same way that a person could be sure that their beef was the real deal, buy it from one of your local foods groups. Here in Kansas City you could check out the suppliers through the Kansas City Food Circle. If you aren’t from Kansas City, try Googling ” ‘your town’ local food growers”. That’s how I found KC Food Circle. Your local group will be able to put you in contact with your local source of all natural local honey. Local honeys also have the benefit of protecting you against local allergens. I know, that is a health claim, but I happen to believe it. 🙂

I suppose if you have to have a sweetener, honey is probably the best of the lot. If you feel like you have to have honey every day, perhaps many times per day, you may want to examine your sweets consumption. It is my feeling that nature didn’t intend for you to eat sweets that often. For proof, look at how often they are available where you live. Here in Missouri we have a few weeks of melons and berries per year, a few weeks of peaches, apples, pears and other flowering fruits. Later on we would get sweet corn, then all winter long and most of the spring there is not really much in the natural sweetener department for us to eat. Only by freighting these things from remote reaches of the world are they available to us to eat in excess. Only by mechanically and chemically extracting the sweetness are we able to eat enough to actually poison ourselves with the bounty of nature. In that case it is too much of a good thing.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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5 Responses to Sweet as Honey

  1. jontours says:

    Kelly and I got some Tupelo honey, it’s expensive but well worth it. It doesn’t even taste like what I traditionally thought honey tasted like.


  2. kscarmack says:

    I want to try their raw honey as well!


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