Honey is very beneficial for the overall health, but there is ongoing data from Safety News that 76% of the honey sold in the U. S. is fake. This is very bad news as this fake honey is consisted of dangerous syrups, sugars and it is packed with heavy metals and antibiotics. Here are the reasons that destroy the quality of honey.
- Corn syrup and fructose are given to bees – which are not beneficial for the produced honey as it is left with no nutritional value. Nutrition is essential for having healthy and strong colonies of bees. Carbohydrates are naturally gained by collecting honeydew or nectar. They offer energy highly needed for all activities within the hive and during foraging. These crucial carbs are removed from the nest when natural sources are limited or when honey is harvested by people. When this happens, bees are fed with sucrose solution which is inverted sugar syrup, or with other syrups like starch syrup or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
- The use of antibiotics is high – bees are given veterinary antibiotics like streptomycin, sulfonamides, and chloramphenicol so that they are protected from diseases. But, there are always adverse effects, and in this case the honey is polluted with these antibiotics. For instance, the antibiotic chloramphenicol is used for bees, but this antibiotic in the human body can cause cancer and aplastic anemia. Likewise, high doses of sulfonamides and streptomycin can be extremely harmful for humans.
- Heavy use of pesticides – The pesticide clothianidin is widely used on U.S. crops even though it is banned in Europe as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) labeled it as unacceptable. Yet, in U.S. it is sprayed on143 million acres. Furthermore, the pesticides imidacloprid and thiamethoxam are still used in U.S., although they are the main cause for bee deaths. Other countries have removed them of use, but in our country they are still utilized.
- Most available honey is fake – as honey producers extract bee pollen from a machine and mix it with imported honey from China and India. This artificial honey is offered to the global market as natural one, but it is fake since it has no bee pollen in it.
How to detect artificial honey?
There are four ways, and here are the following ones:
- The Water Test – put 1 tablespoon of honey in a glass of water, and if it sticks to the bottom it is a real one, if it dissolves, then definitely it is a fake one.
- Light a Fire – place a matchstick in honey, and light it. It will get burnt if it is a real honey, and if it does not burn, then it is a fake one.
- The Thumb Test–this one is rather simple, just place a drop of honey on your thumb. If it remains in place then it is a real one, but if it spreads out and spills then you are dealing with fake honey.
- The Shelf Life Test – meaning that if it stays on the shelf for certain period of time and becomes crystallized, then it is a real one, and if it stays in a syrup-like form, it is fake honey.