Last week, I talked about some interesting facts about bees and honey.
Did any of you try adding honey to your tea?
I know fall allergies are starting to kick in, and I've had people in the store stocking up on my local honey from Dancing Bees Farm to try and alleviate symptoms.
This week, I want to share with you some popular honey myths and debunk them. This information comes from the Sioux Honey Association Co-op.
Myth: Crystallized honey is spoiled honey
There's a lot of misconception regarding crystallization, also known as granulation. Crystallization is honey's natural process of preserving itself. The main reason for this phenomenon is honey's composition. Typically, honey contains natural sugars and around 20% water. Because this is saturated, the glucose may separate from the water and form crystals. However, the honey is largely unchanged and remains just as tasty.
I contacted my local beekeeper friends regarding crystallized honey, and they shared that putting your honey in a warm spot will help it decrystallize. They suggested having me put my jar that had started to crystallize in my car for about an hour, and if you live in the south, you know it gets quite warm. I checked after 30 minutes, and it had started to remelt. I tipped the bottle back and forth and gave it another half an hour. After an hour, it was back to where it originally started and has stayed that way. You could also set your bottle in a warm water bath of about 110 degrees Fahrenheit (definitely don't use boiling water as it will kill the good things in your honey). Check frequently and gently tip your bottle back and forth to move the honey around.
Fact: Honey is a great alternative to artificial sweeteners and table sugar
Honey contains nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that artificial sugars don't have. And because it is sweeter than table sugar, you can use less to achieve the same effect.
Myth: Darker honey or white "foam" means the honey has gone bad
Honey comes in all colors and flavors. The color, taste, and even scent can vary widely depending on the source of the flower nectar, region, soil, and climate. Warmer temperatures, storage, and age also tend to darken the honey and change its flavor.
The white "foam" that appears at the top of honey is simply air. This "foam" results from tiny air bubbles in the honey escaping to the top of the bottle. So next time you see this, don't throw out your honey!
Fact: Honey can be used for skincare
Honey can be a great ingredient in homemade skincare products. Numerous products on the market now include honey.
Fact: Honey is gluten-free
Honey is naturally free of gluten. It contains no wheat, barley, rye, oats, or their byproducts.
Myth: It's dangerous to use metal spoons with honey
This is an old wives' tale that won't go away. While honey is acidic, scooping your honey with a metal spoon is so quick that metal corrosion is unlikely. However, we do not recommend storing a metal spoon within your honey for long periods.
Fact: Honey can be used on wounds
Until the early 20th century, honey was used as a conventional therapy to fight infection.
Myth: All bees produce honey
There are nearly 20,000 known bee species in the world. From this number, only 5% make edible honey. Only honeybees and stingless bees produce enough honey to make harvesting worth it. Bumblebees produce a small amount of honey for their own survival.
Fact: Honey is the only food source produced by an insect that humans eat
Among the more than 950,000 known insect species worldwide, honeybees are the only insect to produce edible food for humans.
Fact: Honey can help soothe a sore throat
The next time your throat is aching, grab your honey bottle. Honey has been known to help aid the symptoms of sore throats. A recent study by a Penn State College of Medicine team also found that honey may offer parents an effective and safe alternative to other cough suppressants.
Fact: Honey is a great source of natural energy
Honey's composition of carbohydrates and glucose levels can help provide longer-lasting energy. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel we use for energy and are necessary in our diet to help maintain muscle glycogen.
Fact: Honey never goes bad
While honey never spoils, it can lose its aroma and flavor when not correctly stored. Because of honey's composition, it absorbs moisture like a sponge. Properly preserved honey retains its quality much longer than the "best by date" printed on bottles. So save your honey and discover the best practices for storing your favorite sweetener.
Thank you to our precious bees for our wonderful honey!
Disclaimer: This newsletter is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. It is not to replace the advice of a qualified healthcare or medical professional.