I love honey. I love that it is a natural product that has been around forever. So, I found it upsetting to learn that much of the honey sold in stores is contaminated with antibiotics like Chloramphenicol, which is banned by the FDA. US bee keepers aren’t using antibiotics, but two-thirds of the honey Americans eat is imported and almost half of it, regardless of what’s written on the label, comes from China. This was reported in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, which did an investigation.
The creepy thing is that truck loads of foreign honey come into the US from Canada, for example, and even though the label says “Made in Canada”, much of it actually comes from China. It’s been reported that contaminated Chinese honey was used in food products including products sold by Sara Lee, Smucker’s, and even packed into individual servings for the Ritz Carlton Hotel chain. In addition, large amounts of tainted Chinese honey was shipped back to China, where it was then shipped to Australia and other countries and relabeled as from those countries of origin.
As I say in my book Super Natural Home, it’s best to buy local whenever you can, and that goes for honey as well. I buy raw honey from my local farmer’s market. It comes straight from the hive and is not heated, which can kill health-enhancing enzymes. I use it to treat burns, help with summer allergies and as a sweetener in my chai. It also makes an excellent natural preservative. I hear it was found in ancient tombs and was determined to still be edible!