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Old 01-18-2012, 01:58 PM   #21
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And I thought I was EVERYBODY'S honey!
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I bought some Life Brand (Pharmaprix/Shopper's Drugmart store brand) honey. It has honey from Canada, Australia, and Argentina. The odd thing, which I noticed when I got it home: it's packaged in Australia! The Canadian honey has been across the Pacific twice! That's just wrong.
Makes you think about all those people involved in shipping honey back and forth. "Where haven't we shipped it yet? How about Mongolia. We've never sent any through Mongolia. Mongolia it is."

Actually, Argentina is apparently a major producer and one that can be seen as reliable or as suspected of laundrying Chinese honey, depending on who you talk to. It's a pretty interesting business. Big-time international trade in what you kind of think of as a simple product that doesn't move far. I can see why, now. Bulk per pound price last October from $1.17 (Mexico) to about $1.69. Wholesale unit price of $3.88 and retail unit price of $5.23. That's enough room for plenty of profit, and there's enough volume for it to be big money. Not bad for bee vomit.

And it gets dirtier the more you read about it. Like the individual Scottish beekeeper caught passing Argentine honey off as local border honey. (So much for buying local.) And apparently a few years ago, Singapore suddenly became a honey producer. Except that they have no bees. And the habit of one place being discovered to be a transhipment laundering point and the operation moving to somewhere else in the world until it's discovered there. They're like drug lords, just more mobile and in no danger of going to jail. (Wouldn't be surprised, though, if there hadn't been some killings.) And a Texas beekeeper commenting that the honey industry "big boys" were too big for the government to take on.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:22 PM   #23
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Walgreen's, as in the drug store? When Texas A&M University tested honeys bought from a variety of stores, Walgreen's was one of those in which 100% of the honey on their shelves had no pollen whatsoever. Specifically, Walgreen's MEL-O Honey was one of them. Pollen is only removed with ultrafiltration. The bottlers say that's done to improve shelf life, but standard filtration removes debris, bee parts, etc. and is all that is needed. An industry expert says the only reason to remove pollen is to remove the ability to test to identify honey from places where it might be questionable, meaning China. Conscientious makers use pollen testing to weed out honey that has been transshipped through a third country, and they won't buy honey that has had the pollen removed, because Chinese honey is sometimes sent through another country where the pollen is filtered out before moving to the U.S. Like so much from China, including the orange concentrate in orange "juice," their honey may be chemically corrupt and may contain various animal antibiotics. Walgreen's and most other drug and grocery chains refuse to say where their honey comes from. But there's only one reason to spend the extra money on ultrafiltration. Busy Bee and Sue Bee are also sans pollen. Even Winnie the Pooh brand is suspect. Honey is a dirty business. Many specialty honeys are found to be falsely labeled. FDA does not police honey. Buy local.
Honey is being tested by Various health aganecies for its anticeptic properties. Certain honeys (from specific geographical regions) has been found to have quite good anticeptic properties. That being said, once the honey is identified by region, it is ultra-filtered to remove pollin and debris, to insure that no allergens are present that could exacerbate the wound and deminish the ability of the honey to fight nasty organizms. According to the Australian study that I read, honey will treat antibiotic resistant organisms such as berer (sp).

I'm sure that Wallgreen's honey isn't being used for the testing however. Just a bit more information for everyone to chew on.

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Old 01-18-2012, 04:22 PM   #24
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I dont have all that much to add. Just wanted to throw my name in the hat for buying locally. Id be worried about the no pollen thing.

Plus bee parts are a good source of lean protein
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:26 PM   #25
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I have a good freind who is a bee-keeper. No worries here. I have a ready supply of absolutely local honey.

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Old 01-18-2012, 04:39 PM   #26
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I'm going to continue buying my honey from Trader Joe's Market because I trust them and because they say what region their honey comes from.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:36 PM   #27
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Another good place to get local honey is at your County Fairs. They usually have a bee keeper site and stand. the owner is only too happy to give you his card so you can get his honey right there on his farm. Stock up while you are there. At our fair in Topsfield, there are two beekeepers that give hourly demonstrations of how the honey is extracted and then bottled right in front of you. Then it goes up for sale. You just have to wait for it to be bottled. They will even tell you if it is clover, lilac, etc honey.

I had my fill of honey as a kid.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:01 PM   #28
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I'm going to continue buying my honey from Trader Joe's Market because I trust them and because they say what region their honey comes from.
You'll be glad to know Trader Joe's was one brand where all their honey had the appropriate amount of pollen. That suggests their supplier isn't trying to hide something.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:16 PM   #29
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Trader Joe's is pretty picky about their suppliers. They aren't your usual supermarket chain. They've been working for years on building customer good will and confidence. They particularly try to bring their customers something special at reasonable prices, and IMO they're succeeding. They aren't in all 50 states but they've been adding new territory very rapidly.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:44 PM   #30
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They're in "coming soon" mode in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Spring (Houston), and they've scouted Austin and no doubt will get there quickly. They'll be head to head with Whole Foods and Central Market, the Whole Food-like operation of the Texas HEB chain. I would bet a small sum that they will come into East Austin in the area where the former airport was converted into a medium up-scale and up-scale neighborhood. There was a lot of interest last May when the story was in the Austin paper.
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