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Is Your Honey Even Honey?

November 18, 2011

Bees, busy making delicious organic honey.

In the last couple of weeks there have been a flood of news reports and articles about honey. Is it safe? Where does it come from? Can the bear you buy at the grocery store even be called honey?  Food Safety News released a report of their findings based on independent testing done on 60 brands of honey purchased in ten different states and the District of Columbia. The samples were then taken to a leading melissopalynologists, which is a fancy name for a scientist who looks at the pollen in honey.

What he found was pretty surprising. 76 % of the tested honey purchased at grocery stores had absolutely no pollen, 100 % of the tested honey purchased at drug stores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS had no pollen, and 77 % of the tested honey purchased at big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target also had no pollen. So, why is this important to you? To make a long story short, honey that has no pollen undergoes a process called ultra-filtration – water is added to the honey and filtered under high pressure, then the water is removed. According to the FDA, what is left has no pollen and can’t legally be called honey. It is also impossible to trace.

Again, why is this important to you? Well, if you can’t trace the honey you buy there is no way to tell if came from China. A few years back, China’s bee population became infected with a virus that killed millions of colonies. In order to stop the mass death the Chinese began treating the bees and hives with an antibiotic. The antibiotic is dangerous, even deadly, if ingested by humans so it has been banned in the United States and Europe. Unfortunately there have been instances where the contaminated honey has made its way into the U.S. food supply.

Organic beekeeper tending to his hives deep in the untouched jungle of southern Mexico.

So, how can you tell if you are getting safe honey? First, make sure to buy organic honey. The Food Safety News report states that you have a better chance of getting honey that isn’t ultra-filtered when you buy organic.

The good news is that there is a non-ultra-filtered, certified organic, Fair Trade™ Certified honey on the market. In fact, Wholesome Sweeteners Honey is the first Fair Trade and Organic Honey in the United States. Our mission is to give you the choice of safe, flavorful, organic and natural honey that is produced with respect for the environment, human welfare, food safety, and your health and nutritional needs.


We have literally searched the world over for the best tasting products. Our organic, Fair Trade Certified Amber and Raw Honey are produced on traditional family farms in southern Mexico and in the north eastern Amazon. The beekeepers tend to their hives deep in the dedicated organic agricultural zones in Central and South American rainforests, far from any exposure to GMO’s or pollutants. The honeybees forage only on the wild jungle’s natural flora. Our honey is 100% free from chemical residues as the plants surrounding the hives have not been sprayed with pesticides, herbicides or antibiotics. The honey is minimally filtered to retain the honey’s abundance of natural pollens and enzymes.

Wholesome Sweeteners Raw Honey is straight from the hive. It is minimally filtered and creamed to produce the rich spread consistency. It is very gently heated to allow it to pass through the filter. It is never heated above 110 degrees so it maintains its vital nutritive values.  (The honeys are only minimally filtered to remove natural organic matter that gets trapped in the honey during the in-field harvest)

Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade, Organic Amber and Raw Honey.

Raw honey naturally contains catalase enzymes which help the body fight free radicals, and flavanoids which help the body attack allergens, viruses, and carcinogens. It also contains other vitamins and minerals including small amounts of vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium and zinc.

When you purchase Wholesome Sweeteners organic, Fair Trade Certified Amber and Raw Honey you are getting the best tasting honey and making the world a sweeter place. Fair Trade Certification ensures that a fair price is paid directly to the beekeepers tending the hives; it means they can protect the quality of the hives and jungle areas and build thriving communities. By protecting the hives and forage areas, Fair Trade encourages biodiversity and helps the forests thrive, too!

For more information about Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade, Organic Honey or for great holiday recipes using our honey please visit our website:


“Most honey sold in U.S. grocery stores not worthy of its name.”, November 9, 2011

Schneider, Andrew. “Tests Show Most Store Honey isn’t Honey.” Food Safety News. November 7, 2011.

Honey Filtration FAQ. The National Honey Board. November 8, 2011.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Judie Cooper permalink
    June 25, 2012 12:01 pm

    This is good to know and highly important. The word on this really needs to get out.

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