While honey is an incredibly popular food product, there are many things that people don’t understand about it. Some facts about raw honey, like its many health benefits, are still not even as widely known as one might think. Over time, there have been many claims about honey that were not based around any reliable fact but have managed to make their way into the public eye and have never gone away. If you are a consumer of raw honey, it is important to recognize fact from fiction when it comes to the product. Get started with this list that examines some of the most common misconceptions about raw honey.
Crystalized Honey Is Not Spoiled
Many people are confused about what has happened to honey when it crystallizes. The crystallization process is also known as granulation. Due to its odd appearance, people often think the honey has spoiled and is unsafe to consume. Crystallization is actually a natural process where the honey is preserving itself. This tends to happen after it has been in storage for three to six months. One of the main reasons the honey starts to crystallize is because of its ingredient composition. The crystal-like formations are made of glucose. This is because honey is partially made up of natural sugars and water. With the amount of water being around 20%, raw honey is considered saturated, and the sugars, or glucose, separate from the water over time. The honey remains relatively unchanged and is definitely not spoiled. If you have raw honey that has already crystallized, you can research a few ways to reverse the crystallization process. What’s even more amazing is that honey actually has no natural expiration date. Because of the sugar content, the low pH of honey, and its natural processing, the organisms that generally spoil food cannot survive in raw honey.
Darker or White Foamed Honey Hasn’t Gone Bad
It is not uncommon that people see honey in a darker shade or with a white foam collected at the top, and they assume it has gone bad. This, however, is never the case. Honey is a product that can vary significantly from company to company, and even from bottle to bottle. Honey differs generally based on the region it came from, as well as by its flower nectar and climate. Honeybees pollinate the flowers and plants that are around them. When they form the honeycomb and start making the honey, much of the flower nectar gets into the honey. Pollen is one of the natural ingredients in natural raw honey that provides a lot of nutrients and health benefits, in addition to affecting its appearance and taste. Along with this, the storage and age can affect the look of the honey as well. As for the white foam that appears at the top, this is formed by nothing more than air. Sometimes, there are very small air bubbles that escape from the honey and float to the top. Any darker coloring or foam that you notice is usually harmless.
The Type of Spoon You Use Doesn’t Matter
A long time ago, a claim began that you either needed a wooden spoon to eat honey, or you should at least avoid using a metal spoon. Originating as a marketing myth, it was a popular claim that a metal spoon could spoil the honey. As we mentioned above, it is almost impossible for honey be get spoiled, let alone from a piece of metal silverware. Other concerns about using a metal spoon come from the concern of how honey will react on a metal surface because of its acidic pH level. Metal can damage or reduce the healing properties in honey if it were in contact with it for an extended period of time, but it is even confirmed by many beekeepers that using a metal spoon is generally pretty safe. There are also theories that a metal spoon immersed in honey will cause corrosion. This is another situation, however, that would need a certain amount of time to happen. Even though honey is acidic, the amount of time it takes to scoop your honey is highly unlikely to cause any corrosion. In the end, it is pretty widely agreed upon that as long as you’re not storing a spoon in the honey overnight, you can use any kind of spoon with your honey.
All Bees Do Not Produce Honey
One of the most common misconceptions about raw honey is that it can come from any type of bee. It is estimated that out of 20,000 known species of bees in the world, only 5% are able to produce edible honey. The only kind of bee that can make it is the honeybee. The honeybee species is one that lives in large colonies, and can be found all over the world, making honey widely accessible. It is the females, known as “worker bees,” that produce the honey from the pollen and nectar they’ve collected on their bodies while pollinating. Interestingly, honeybees produce honey for their own food supply. This is significantly different from other bees and insects that sting. Many that present dangers to humans, like hornets, feed on crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and other similar insects instead of the flower nectar and pollen that honeybees feed on. It is worth noting that bumblebees also produce honey, but it is generally in small amounts for their own survival.
Raw Honeycomb Is Edible
Another misconception about raw honey is many people believe that the honeycomb is not edible. As it turns out, not only is raw honeycomb edible, but it’s also rich in nutrients. The honeycomb is made up of walls of beeswax with raw honey contained inside. The honeycomb is also a naturally produced product from the honeybee. And, like raw honey, it can have varying flavors depending on the region and flowers that the bees pollinated. While the raw honey itself carries many antioxidants, enzymes, and antibacterial properties, the honeycomb has a lot of carbohydrates and antioxidants. The antioxidants can help strengthen one’s immune system, as well as reduce inflammation. The beeswax can be good for the heart and for lowering one’s cholesterol.