How Sweet It Is
[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
While we are on the topic of honey, I just want to put it out there that NOT all honey is equal. I am frustrated with the “business” side of the industry that chooses to market the processed stuff as natural, when in truth there is little left that is natural about it.
Like all living food, heating it to about 117 degrees kills all the enzymes along with many of its health benefits. The USDA and others have made us afraid to eat raw foods, which to me is crazy. And I get particularly nuts when I run into some poor unsuspecting mom who is spending a little more in her already-tight budget for processed honey, thinking she is doing right by her family. I’m not upset at her; I am upset at the machine that markets in a way that deceives her into spending her hard-earned dollars.
Okay, so you might be suspecting at this point that this is a “soap box” topic for me. I know what it is to live on a tight budget and still want to provide the best options for a family. I also know what it feels like to have your body completely break down, and discover that so much of the pain and suffering could have been prevented with proper nutritional education. Unfortunately, this kind of education doesn’t really profit big business, so we often don’t get the whole picture in the classroom or in the marketing strategies of these corporate companies.
So here is the scoop on honey. When purchasing honey, make sure that the label reads “raw” if you want to ensure that you are getting the live enzymes. Watch the date—if it has been sitting on a shelf for too long you may want to find another source. Raw honey (honey that hasn’t been heated and pasteurized) is known for its healing properties. It is considered a super food as it is high in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates and phyto-nutrients. I suggest that you find a local organic honey producer. Go to a site like www.localharvest.org and find someone in your area and buy local. I could do a whole post of the health benefits of eating food that is locally produced. The whole body/soil connection is a fascinating one as well.
We have lost the art (or common sense) of eating live food. Our grandparents used to ferment their foods. Now we have poor substitutes of those foods that we believe are the same in health benefits. They are not. Things like pickles, sauerkraut and bread are all imitations of the “real thing.” I had someone say to me recently that we don’t have more health issues today than 100 years ago, we just hear more about it. I don’t think I believe that. I think today we have more preventable health issues that can be controlled by diet. But we have to be willing to inform ourselves and not just take the word of the marketing folks. We need to read labels and be our own best health advocates.
Honey is an easy change. Following my suggestions will add health and vitality to your life, especially if you find local producers and connect with them. In no time you will be singing, “How sweet it is.”