On Christmas I had an interesting conversation with my mother in law. She asked my thoughts on the “whole honey from China thing”. I confess, I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about.
She went on to explain to me some things that she had read and seen on the news, and showed surprise that someone like me, who cares about all things environmental, would not be educated on this topic. Well, I felt a little foolish over that one. So…I decided to educate myself, and wanted to share with you what I found!
Of course, you probably already know that honey is a great food storage item. It lasts practically forever. Honey is an amazing item to keep on hand. But oops, now I’m going off on a tangent…back to the locally grown discussion:
I found multiple articles discussing problems with honey being shipped from China. In an article written by Debbie Hadley, an about.com guide, in some cases the honey is diluted with water and/or corn syrup, and we, the consumer, are being ripped off. Please notice, she says in SOME cases, not in all!!
Did you know that in the late 1990’s a bacterial disease spread through beehives in China? Well, how do you treat a bacteria? With antibiotics, of course. Now there is concern over antibiotic contamination in honey. Another reason to try to buy local.
Now, I don’t have a thing against China, or any other location, for that matter. There are many benefits to buying locally, though, and as I strive to live more self-reliantly and eco-friendly, I will continue buying local. Here are some other benefits to buying honey locally:
- Honey is a powerful immune system booster. It actually contains bits and pieces of pollen. Allergies can arise from continuous over-exposure to the same allergens. Eating a couple of teaspoons-full per day of honey made by bees working in the area where you live for several months prior to the pollen season will often prevent allergic reaction to the pollens it contains. *This is not to suggest that local honey will replace allergists. (Source)
- It has been proven that raw honey has many antibiotic properties. For years, people have consumed it for nausea and gastritis. It is also known to prevent the formation of ulcers, and certain kinds of cancer. So, as you can see, trying raw local honey to treat your allergies certainly would not hurt, in fact, it could help you with a number of other ailments. The best part, there are virtually no side effects, unless you are allergic. Try to get the local honey that is closest to home. Immunizing yourself to allergens that you are never exposed to carries no benefits. (Source)
- Buying honey, along with just about anything else, locally, also reduces your carbon footprint and supports your local economy. And why not support your neighbors if you can?