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November 16th, 2011
A Sticky Situation

The other day Jacob posted a link to an interesting article in Food Safety News. Apparently, a lot of the honey sold on store shelves has had all of its pollen filtered out. It is stated by the president of the American Honey Producers Association that the only way to remove all pollen from honey is through a process called “ultra-filtration” and that the resulting product isn’t considering honey anymore by the FDA.

A lot of honey packers (and the National Honey Board) are crying foul, claiming that traditional methods can in fact remove ALL pollen from honey, and that the FDA does in fact consider honey without pollen to still be honey.

So who’s telling the truth? I’m just not sure. The point of the article was that honey with all of its pollen removed can no longer be traced to the source, and in fact this is done to conceal the origin of illegally imported Chinese honey. (The Chinese honey is problematic because it usually contains contaminants like antibiotics and pesticides.) As a consumer, traceability is important to me. I want to know where my food comes from, and quite frankly, I don’t trust companies to be honest in their labeling. If a company is selling a product that can no longer be traced to its source, I’m skeptical.

We like honey. We have been buying Wessels for a long time, because it’s local and tasty. Their honey has pollen in it. I think the moral of the story for me is to continue purchasing local honey and supporting “the little guys.” The large packing companies can keep their pollen-free untraceable product that may or may not be honey.

Posted by Claire at 11:53 AM | Good Eats, Politics | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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