from Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) by A. A. Milne
What is honey?
Honey is literally regurgitated nectar or honeydew that has been collected and transformed into a sweet food by bees.
Nectar comes from flowers, honeydew from tree sap.
What is Sugar?
Granulated white sugar is processed fructose and glucose coming from sugar cane or sugar beet. After processing all nutrients in sugar are destroyed. So the rawer the state of sugar the more the nutrients are retained. Note that brown sugar is not the same as raw sugar. Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added.
Sugar is addictive.
Raw or Heated
Honey factories usually heat their honey to liquify it to get it into the containers. If honey isn’t heated it is said to be raw. Airborne claims to have the lowest heat process of anywhere in New Zealand without damaging the honey. They have patented their process. Raw forms of honey contain more nutrients.
I like addition of pollen count, HMF numbers and batch numbers on the containers of Airborne honey.
Through pollen you can confirm the source of the nectar or honeydew.
Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is present in heated or dried foods.
The lower the number the better.
With a batch number you can confirm from which hive the honey originated.
If your honey starts to harden or crystallise then you can just heat it up to return it to its liquid form. Honey never goes bad.
When making hot drinks, add honey when the temperature is cooler.
Colour, flavour and properties of honey depend on where and what type of nectar or honeydew the bees have collected.
Honey has antioxidant, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. Sugar has none.
I have found it extremely difficult to find out what makes up honey. I cannot find out what micro nutrients are in honey apart from a study done perhaps 80 years ago. I understand that every honey is different dependent on where the honey is sourced, rural or urban, floral or tree, near organic farms, near GM crop fields, cold zones, warm zones, the list as long a piece of string. That’s what my grandmother used to say. No wait, she said “as silly as a piece of string.” Similar but different.
I like it when a food label actually tells you the contents are and where the ingredients are from. It is so natural to want to know. As consumers we should be told the facts and not left to assume the contents.
Otago White Clover Honey tells you what it is: Ingredients: Pure Honey 100%. Excellent. Where the honey is from is vague but it does give the area as Otago white clover fields. Good.
The Airborne Manuka Honey label reads on the front “Pure Natural New Zealand Honey” but it does not list ingredients anywhere on the back label. Good. It does list in detail where the honey comes from with batch numbering, so that if you want to follow up you can. Excellent.
Hot honey and lemon drinks when you have a cold or the flu is a good home remedy. Don’t add the honey just when the water has boiled. Let it cool.
Here in New Zealand we have a unique manuka honey that is from the native manuka and kanuka trees. It’s antibacterial properties are similar to that of the tea tree. For the those levels of antibacterial properties to be present in honey there needs to be a Unique Manuka Factor UMF(R) with a number 5 or greater written after it. UMF(R) 10 or greater contains therapeutic qualities. Otherwise it is floral honey. Floral manuka honey is delicious with loads of flavour but it won’t have the higher concentrate antibacterial properties. The darker the manuka honey the more therapeutic value. More details.
Honey vs. Sugar calories
|Airborne Manuka Honey||Granulated White Sugar|
|Serving size 20g||65cal||76cal|
Minerals in Honey
The following figures give the mineral constituents of thirty-four 100 gram samples of average honeys in milligrams. (Elser and Sundberg)*:
*I think these studies were done between 1928-1930
statistics sourced from:
I CHOSE honey
There isn’t much between honey and sugar in calories but in micro nutritional value honey is ahead of sugar. YES. Honey is better than sugar. Who argues with Winnie the Pooh?
I hope that the honey bees will be around longer than us. We need them. They don’t need us. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a mystery that affected bee populations all around the world up until 2006/2007. Without bees there is no pollination, no pollination, then no fruit. Planting bee friendly plants will encourage bee populations.
After researching honey I have decided to store my honey out of the fridge after opening.
About a year ago I started using raw sugar instead of white granulated sugar in baking. I feel happy with my choice. I don’t add sugar to tea or coffee. The exception is masala tea.
Meringues are the only recipe I think that absolutely needs the white sugar but otherwise raw sugar all the way. But I haven’t made a meringue or a pavlova in years. Note I didn’t say eaten. Told you I had a sweet tooth.
Want to know more about bees and honey?
Click Here ,there and more.
Organic stuff over there.