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Redd Remedies

What's in Your Honey - and What's Not

We are big fans of honey here at Redd Remedies. We love to try different kinds of honey – Manuka, buckwheat, Himalayan. It’s all good to us. But I think it’s safe to say that our favorites are of the local variety, especially the wonderful local honey raised by bees at Anna’s house, who works here in the Redd office.

Honey is one of the oldest medicinal foods on Earth. The health benefits of honey range from quelling a cough to helping burns heal. Many of us think of the iconic honey bear container when we think of honey. But what might be surprising is that the honey in that little plastic bear may have been smuggled into the United States. And it likely contains heavy metals and antibiotics.

Mercury with your tea, madam?

Millions of Americans are unknowingly consuming honey that comes from China despite the fact that most countries around the world do not accept imports of Chinese honey. And according to some consumer groups, this honey contains dangerously high levels of antibiotics and heavy metals. To avoid detection at the U.S. border, China will ship its honey through other countries like India before it comes into the U.S. They also use a process called ultra-filtration which removes all traces of pollen from the honey so that it cannot be traced back to its country of origin.

A recent investigation of honey on U.S. store shelves showed that 75% of the honey purchased from stores such as Walmart, Target, and Costco had all of the pollen removed. But all of the samples from farmers markets and natural food stores had normal levels of pollen. So did most containers labeled organic.

This is just another glaring example of why we need to support local farmers, local bee keepers and organics. Take a trip to your local health food store and check out the honey of their shelves. They are likely to have a local variety. Oh, and they use those cute honey bears too.

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