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Is Your Honey The Real Deal, Or A Raw Deal?

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Take a peek in your pantry, and you’d be hard pressed to find an everyday staple more complex than honey.

Its depth of flavors, spectrum of colors, and varying scents put this sweet elixir in a special category all its own. And with so many culinary uses, honey provides a versatile canvas for creativity in the kitchen. From delicate drizzles on summer berries, to thick slathers on piping hot biscuits, to savory Asian sauces on seafood, honey is the ingredient that keeps on giving.

Our ancestors knew this to be true, too. For over 4,000 years, honey has been used as a beautifying regimen in Ancient Egypt, a medicine on the battlefields of World War I, and even an antidote to seasonal allergies. Due to its vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes, honey has been proven to heal you from the inside out!

While honey is created equally, not all honey is treated equally.

Because the path from comb to bottle can be as slow as the contents inside, high quality honey can be hard to find these days. While honey is a byproduct of nature’s hardworking honeybees, millions of colonies of those bees are struggling to stay healthy themselves. In fact, since around 2006 we’ve known that many colonies have been fighting for survival due to disease, extreme fluctuations in climate change, and harmful pesticides. Between April 2014 and April 2015, the crisis hit its peak: more than 40% of colonies were lost as beekeepers struggled to salvage the rest.

The honeybee crisis is part of the reason why manufacturers have started adding corn syrup and other fillers to make the quality of pure, wild honey stretch even farther to meet demand. While the Food and Drug Administration states that honey must contain pollen to be called honey, almost 76% of honey doesn’t actually qualify as pure.

Curious to know whether your honey is the real deal?

Locally sourced honey – often available at farmer’s markets, whole food cooperatives, or health food stores – will typically designate the honey blossom’s area of origin. You can also pay close attention to your honey’s consistency to tell you whether it’s the real thing. If honey is partially solid, contains part of the comb, crystallizes at room temperature, or looks slightly creamy, your honey is as good as gold.

Postcard Pantry’s “Bee Happy” honors the honeybees, the makers who preserve their colonies, and your sweet love. Click here to get yours, and then try using some of the pure honey within for a simple face mask and a honey cocktail that you can sip on while you relax.

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