Have you ever heard about the Chinese honey controversy? Surprisingly enough, there is such a thing called honey laundering, where Chinese producers ultra-filtrated their honey. They did this for two important reasons: 1. It makes the honey more shelf-stable and 2. It removes any evidence of tracking down its country of origin.
So why is that bad, you may ask? Unfortunately, ultra-filtrating honey means depriving it of its beneficial pollen. Also, some Chinese honey has been found to contain chemicals like chloramphenicol, which is a banned antibiotic in the US.
Because of these issues, in 2008, the US placed high tariffs on honey imported from China in order to cut down on the amount of ultra-filtered honey. However, Chinese exporters started selling to middle-man countries, in order to “lose” the country of origin placed on the labels.
If you want to purchase and consume honey for its superfood qualities and health benefits, you should make sure it has pollen in it! FDA claims that the one test that certifies honey’s quality is the presence of pollen. Recently, the Food Safety News tested more than 60 different samples of store-bought honey for pollen. The results were discouraging; around 76% of grocery store “honey” lacked pollen!
What Can You Do To Avoid Fake Honey?
Tests done on farmers’ markets, co-ops and natural food stores showed that they sold 100%, real honey. Make sure you buy local and certified honey. Also, look for honey that is raw as it keeps all of its healing qualities. More or raw honey here.