Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another reason to buy LOCALLY produced honey!

I was picking up a few things are the grocery store when I happened to take a good look at a bottle of honey sitting on the shelf.  And when I read the label, I could see just one more reason why people should buy locally produced honey.  

Whenever I talk to people about honey bees, I often tell them to support their local beekeepers.  Why?  There are so many reasons why.  Mainly because local honey is so much healthier and contains the elements (nectar and pollen) from local fruits and vegetables and flowers which is great for people with allergies and other health issues.  Plus its great to suppport the local beekeepers and their families because you keep local dollars in their pockets.

But here's another reason.  Take a good look at the label from this container of "Burleson's Natural Pure Honey" that I found at the grocery store.  While Burleson's is headquartered in Texas, the honey in the bottle comes from EVERYWHERE else!  If you read the print, you can see that it comes from the United States, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Vietnam!  So while the honey in the jar did in fact come from honey bees which makes it natural, it also comes from all over the globe.  And to me, that's just not good. 

I've read that almost 240 million pounds of honey is imported into the United States from a number of countries, but mainly from places like Argentina, Canada, China and Vietnam.  Who knows what kind of management practices some beekeeper in Vietnam may use with his or her bees...or what chemicals they use to treat them?  I've read accounts where Asian honey, tested by U.S. Customs, contained Ciprofloxacin and Enrofloxacin and different pesticides.  If you remember, Ciprofloxin or 'Cipro' was the same antibiotic used to treat people exposed in the Anthrax attacks years ago.  Who wants that made-made chemical compound in their honey?

Please understand that I'm not slamming beekeepers in other countries.  I have many online friends who are beekeepers in other continents and countries...including Canada.  And I thoroughly enjoy reading their blogs to see how they handle their bees.  But when it comes to honey, I just think its better to buy a locally produced product from people you know.  That way you know how they handle their bees and know about the end product.  My opinion is that's its better for everyone all around.

Support your local beekeeper!


  1. As a Canadian Beek I agree 100% with local foods movement, I still can't figure out why honey gets shipped from countries that have a demand for it to other countries with similar economics, I heard at one time that some places like china will ship to non-restricted countries then reship to the US or Canada to circumvent scrutiny.

  2. Thanks for posting, Sam! I agree with you, it is baffling why so much of it is shipped to Canada and the United States when so many honey producers are already in the North American continent. Along with the jar of honey from Burleson's, I found other jars that said it was produced in the United States. One company I found is located an hour from me in Winston Salem, North Carolina. But still I wonder if it was put in the jars here in the United States but shipped here from someplace like Asia. Hope all is well there and stay in touch! -Mark

  3. Honey is going through a lot of laundering issues, but it is now become mandatory that it be listed where the origin of the honey is. So, if there isn't anything on that honey stating that it's an hour from where you are, that it came from somewhere else, you can feel pretty sure that it really is.

    Since 'honey' hasn't really been defined, it's in a big battle. Think of Honey Grahams and Honey Mustard and Honey BBQ sauce...those things don't always have honey in them, but it's an appetizing selling point, so it works as a marketing ploy.

    Also, besides just honey, you should be trying to consume everything locally and sustainably. It puts so much less pressure on everything when you can buy something that is local and in season :)

    Nice post!



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