Raw Honey vs Regular Commercial "Honey"
Honey comes in many different shapes or forms. It may be runny, set, creamed or comb honey. Most of us know honey as runny, which never sets and never changes its form. This type of honey is usually available in all supermarket stores. Additionally, supermarket-bought honey does not always carry the same properties and qualities of raw honey. Therefore, here we will elaborate more on why commercial “store-bought” honey is not always real and healthy.
Not all honey is real
Some people buy honey directly from the beekeeper, some buy from specialized stores and some from a regular supermarkets. There is a risk of buying fake honey when doing your grocery shopping at your local commercial supermarket store. Why? Because it may be heavily processed, pasteurised and heated to make it more appealing for the customer. These processes destroy all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes that the honey contains. Pasteurisation also reduces honey's nutritional value, benefits and quality.
What is raw honey?
Real honey is in the most natural form possible: unprocessed, unpasteurised and maintains all of its healthy properties. It arrives from bees and nature. The bees collect nectar from different wildflowers and blossoms. Then the bees carry this nectar to the hives and stores into cells of the beeswax which they have prepared before. Once the nectar is stored in the cells of the honeycomb, the cells are capped with beeswax. Then the bees, use their wings to fan the water content from the nectar. As a result, over around two weeks period, nectar matures and becomes honey.
The beekeeper then harvests the honey by uncapping each cell full of honey and uses honey extractor to spin out all the cells. Afterwards, the honey runs through a double strainer to lightly filter out any beeswax or other solids. Minimal filtration maintains the particles of bee pollen but removes the heavy solids. Once all the steps are complete honey is jarred and the empty combs are returned to the beehives.
You may wonder why your nature's golden liquid has become a solid block of honey. This is due to the fact that glucose separates from the water in the honey and crystals starts to form.
Crystallisation is a natural process of honey and can be used to prove the good qualities of honey. However in case the honey sets, but you prefer the runny form of it. Use the following guide from SpicieFoodie.
What is bee pollen?
Scientific studies consider bee pollen as a most nutritional superfood from nature. Bees collect pollen from flower blossom by mixing with the nectar and carrying these pollen balls on their legs. Bee pollen contains 250 types of nutrients, including vitamins and flavonoids required for the human body to strive. It consists mainly of protein which is free from amino acids. Therefore, minimal filtration helps to retain the micro pollen particles in the honey. While the commercial honey due to all the processing can have zero pollen inside of store-bought honey.
Why store-bought honey is not raw?Commercial store-bought honey undergoes excessive processing due to various factors:
- Pasteurisation – is a process of heating the honey at temperatures as high as 70 degrees Celsius. Natural beehive temperature can go only up to 40 degrees Celsius. This way, commercial honey loses all of its microorganism and characteristics. Honey never crystallises and is always in its liquid form. Making honey more presentable to its customers and easier to deal with. However, being only as a sweetener.
- Filtration – honey from grocery stores is excessively filtrated to lose all of its particles making the honey clearer and smoother. However, this way processed honey loses most of its nutritional values.
- Faking honey – there are a lot of irresponsible commercial beekeepers who feed their bees on sugar syrup during the whole year to expand their honey harvests. This is called faking honey. The end result is that you are eating sugar but only in a different form.
Trust Bee Baltic
Therefore, beware of what is available in big commercial supermarkets. Read the labels or even get in touch with the honey supplier to ask about their beekeeping and packaging practices. Always read relevant articles about recognising raw food. We hope that our blog will help you out on this by providing a guide on how to recognise if honey is real and raw.
Ourselves we strive to present our customers with ethically sourced raw honey. We selected small scale Lithuanian beekeepers who promote sustainable and responsible beekeeping practices. Bee Baltic beekeepers follow traditional beekeeping methods. Our bees are cared for with natural healing remedies which are free from antibiotics.
Bee Baltic honey is all tested in the certified laboratories to meet the highest standards. Our honey is not pasteurised thus retaining all of its nutritional properties.
We deeply care for the bees and their existence. We hope that together we can support the life of our little pollinator friends.