The complexities of the organic food world do not sometimes make it easy to navigate, especially with such a specific product as honey.
The UK is the world’s sixth-largest honey producer; however, there is a massive demand for honey in the UK, a demand that cannot be met by the UK alone.
Britons consume about 43,000 tons of honey every year, and 95% of that honey has to be imported into the UK from countries such as Canada and China because there are simply not enough hives located inside this country to meet demand.
Along with its modern markets, the UK has a long history of beekeeping since pre-Roman times, which has led to a large number of native species of bees that are now threatened by extinction.
However, with the changeable state of affairs in the consumer food industry, where people are becoming more conscious about what they are consuming, there might be cause for concern around the organic status of the honey on your kitchen table.
Honey is such a common ingredient in many dishes across cultures and regions around the world, but how can you be absolutely certain that the honey you’re consuming is organic?
Here are some clever ways to know whether it is possible to have organic honey.
Can Honey Be Organic?
Yes, honey can be organic!
While you may think that the little bees that do all of the hard work may have the freedom to go wherever they may please and choose whichever flowers they fancy to pollinate, there is a lot to be said for the control of bees when they are kept under managed conditions to do what they do best.
The bees stay together in their trained swarm-mentality as a family, and they learn where their hives are, and once they do that, they tend not to stray too far from their hives.
Suppose the bees have the perfect environment surrounding their hives that they love, with the flowers in abundance for them to be able to do what comes naturally to them. In that case, they will stay where they are fulfilling their purpose.
The key to organic honey is actually in the immediate environment they have, and if that pollination environment has been certified against organic standards, then there’s a high chance the honey they produce will be too.
Organic honey is certified to come from a beehive that is five to eight miles away from the nearest artificial chemical source, meaning it’s less likely to be contaminated by chemicals such as petroleum products and pesticides.
What is Organic Honey?
There is an awful lot of controversy regarding the origins of honey.
Some people will argue that honey is all-natural. In contrast, others say it’s only natural if it has been harvested directly from the hive itself.
Organic honey is produced by bees that feed on organic pollen.
There are only 2 significant requirements for the honey to be considered organic:
- The bees must eat only organic flowers, and
- The honey must not contain any synthetic substances.
A surefire way to make sure your honey is organic, make sure it meets these standards first.
How Can I be Certain My Honey is Organic?
To find out if your honey is organic or not, you can do some research online, either via the brand information available or via the certification the honey holds; if it is a certified organic product, you can look out for logos that indicate whether or not your honey is officially certified as organic.
Unfortunately, it may not stop there.
You’ll also have to verify that your beekeeper follows all of the rules and regulations in line with the organic standards as let out in UK law when creating their product.
Additionally, there are many companies that will perform lab testing on your honey to ensure that it’s free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals- this is a totally radical move, but some people need that scientific assurance in some cases!
Is Organic Honey And Raw Honey The Same?
No, Not entirely!
Organic honey is considered to be the natural form of honey, whereas raw honey is the unprocessed version of honey.
Raw honey is derived from the pollination of wildflower and foraged sources that may or may not have been treated with any chemical or pesticide, so are likely to not be certified organic as the origins of the source products are simply undetermined!
The difference between organic and raw is what makes them different.
When it comes to honey, the organic certification only means that the process that was completed to produce the honey was done in a way to make sure that the environment was from chemicals and pesticides.
Is Organic Honey Better Than Raw?
Well, that answer depends on your likes and dislikes, and they both have their pros and cons, so you should decide which one you want to go with based on your taste buds and organic standpoint!
Apart from consumption, honey can be used for many other purposes, such as relief from burns, stings, and bites. From a naturopaths’ standpoint, the honey that has the most medicinal benefits will be top of their priority list for them, which is undoubtedly raw honey.
However, suppose organic certification and flavour are your priorities. In that case, you may not look in the direction of raw honey at all and head straight for a convenient, organic honey in a jar.
Neither honey is right or wrong; it’s all about preference and purpose!
The Last Hive
Organic food is a method of preserving the natural resources, protecting the environment in which it has been produced, and to avoid exposure to synthetic pesticides, insecticides, and artificial preservatives.
You should always seek organic where possible if you are conscious about additional chemicals in your food or you are concerned with the environment at large.
Should you buy certified organic or locally produced? Great question!
Your best quality honey will trickle out from your local beekeeper or honey producer at farmers’ markets, and this honey may well be organic, just without the certification- that’s all!