FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is honey? Honey is primarily composed of nearly equal proportions of fructose, glucose, plus other sugars and water. Honey contains over 180 different substances including acids (18), minerals (12), amino acids (18), enzymes (5), bioflavinoids (18), aroma compounds (26), trace elements (17), vitamins (6), and lipids (8).
Why is honey so sweet? Honey is one of the sweetest foods found in nature. Flowering plants secrete a sugary substance called nectar. Nectar is made of dilute sucrose and glucose, both simple sugars. Bees collect nectar, and take it to the hive where they evaporate water from it by fanning it with their wings. They also add an enzyme to the nectar which catalyzes the breakdown of the sucrose into glucose and fructose. Fructose is perceived by our taste buds as very sweet, more so than glucose or sucrose. Honey, gram for gram or calorie for calorie, tastes much sweeter than any other sugar. Which is why it makes a great substitution for sugar in baking, cooking and as a drink sweetener.
Does honey have any health benefits? Yes! Honey is more than just a sweetener! There are many health benefits of honey and it has a long history of use as a "medicine." Eating honey has a stabilizing effect on our body's blood sugar levels and does not stimulate as rapid insulin production as sucrose (table sugar) or glucose. Honey has an antibacterial effect and inhibits the growth of many bacteria strains, including the bacteria responsible for ulcers. Honey has been used in topical dressings to treat infected surgical wounds, burns, and skin grafts. Honey significantly increases antioxidant levels in the blood while improving immune system activity. A tablespoon or more of honey consumed at bedtime promotes natural restorative sleep by preventing metabolic stress due to depleted liver glycogen stores. Without metabolic stress during rest, stress hormones are not released, maximum fat-burning during rest is possible, and natural restoration of body tissues and immune system functions occurs naturally. Honey, when consumed on a regular basis, can actually help with some allergies. These health benefits and more are the same for all unpasteurized honey including liquid, creamed, crystalized and honey comb. To learn more health benefits of honey, click here.
Should individuals with diabetes eat honey? Honey is the sweetener of choice for diabetics. Honey actually stabilizes blood sugar and lowers HbA1c levels, something refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) cannot do. After ingestion, honey is converted directly into liver glycogen and does not result in the formation of triglycerides (fatty acids) as typically occurs after the consumption of large amounts of HFCS and sucrose found in the average American diet. Honey does not trigger an immediate or excessive insulin release which results from the consumption of most artificial sweeteners, and thus does not promote fat production, fat storage, and weight gain commonly associated with the use of these products.
What is "raw" honey? Raw honey is natural, unpasteurized honey, nothing added or taken away. It is what bees produce in the hive. It is ready to eat after it has been extracted and run through a fine sieve to remove foreign particles that may have found their way into the honey in the extracting process (such as bee parts, pollen and wax). All pure unpasteurized honey is raw honey. Raw honey or pure honey is not pasteurized, modified or adulterated in any way before it is packaged and sold.
Is honey safe for infants? As with any raw, unprocessed foods, honey is not recommended for infants whose immune systems are not fully developed, a process that occurs usually in the first year. Therefore it is not recommended for children under one year of age.
Is all honey the same? No, there are many varieties and flavors of honey, depending on the flowers from which bees collect nectar. All of our honey is collected from areas where plants that have not been given harsh chemical fertilizers, pesticides or been genetically altered in any way.
Does all honey that is sold in retail stores produce the same health benefits as pure, unpasteurized, natural honey? No. Natural honey contains pollen and other constituents that are removed in the heating and filtering process. Pasteurized honey, does not have the same enzymes and health benefits of unpasteurized honey. Also, if a plant has been genetically altered in anyway the trace elements from those modifications can be transferred into the honey from the bees during nectar collection and honey production. Our main honey is Alfalfa Clover Honey which is highly recommended for health benefits and medical uses (such as healing a small wound or burn) as well as combining with other substances such as cinnamon and lemon for health and healing purposes.
Is your honey processed or pasteurized? No, our honey is not processed or pasteurized; ours is raw honey (unpasteurized). Raw honey will retain its natural sweet, full bodied flavor. If you compare it to processed honey, you'll immediately notice the difference.
How should I store my honey? Honey can be stored pretty much anywhere at any temperature however different temperatures can cause it to crystalize (if it is cold) or liquefy (if it is hot). It is one of the few products in the world that never goes bad, due to its unique chemical composition. We recommend storing your honey at room temperature whenever possible to stop it from crystalizing due to cold temperatures or liquefying due to hot temperatures.
How do you prevent liquid honey from crystallizing? Unpasteurized honey will granulate over time, especially when kept in cool or cold places. To increase its shelf life, consider storing honey in a warm location such as in an interior kitchen cupboard near or over the stove. If it does granulates, just screw the cap tight and put it into hot water (not boiling). Gentle heating below 115 degrees F does not destroy the natural flavor or attributes of the honey. If you are careful, you can heat the honey in the microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds till liquefied. Our creamed honeys will all start hard when they are freshly jarred, but after 1-2 weeks they will soften to room temperature and then stay in the creamy state forever. If they get stored in a cold place however (like a garage during winter) they may harden up again but will soften once more when returned to room temperature, again 1-2 weeks.
Does honey spoil or go bad? As long as it is unpasteurized, no. Honey stored in sealed containers can remain stable for decades and even centuries! However, honey is susceptible to physical and chemical changes during storage; it tends to darken and lose its aroma and flavor or crystallize.
Then why are there “best before” dates? Honey never spoils and has an unlimited shelf life but for practical purposes and store requirements, a shelf life of two or more years is often stated. Raw honey has a very low water content (normally less than 18%), and a fairly high acidic level, this makes for very unfavorable conditions for bacteria to grow. If bacteria cannot grow in honey, then it cannot spoil.