For health- and environment-conscious people around the world, it is desirable to use organic skincare products and to eat locally grown organic vegetables. This of course also applies to certified organic honey. Honey has antibacterial properties that remove free radicals from the body and are often used as a natural antiseptic. It deodorizes wounds and stimulates wound tissue to speed up healing. Honey is also a cough suppressant and a moisturizer that draws moisture from the air to the skin.
Fortunately, there is a wide range of organic foods on the market. In fact, organic equivalents of most conventionally produced foods are widely available and inexpensive.
To obtain the organic food quality label, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a system of rules, tests, and certifications that all farms or processors who wish to be certified organic must follow.
However, there are no standards for USDA-certified organic honey. They simply do not exist. But how can this be the case when some honey brands brazenly stamp their jars with USDA organic certification?
Max Goldberg, director of the Organic Food Group and a member of the Organic Consumers Association, the North East Organic Farming Association – MA, Food & Water Watch, and the Centre for Food Safety, says: “Certification bodies can certify honey, but the USDA gives no guidance on what standards to use. It gives no guidance on what standards to use,” he explains. Each certification body has to set its own criteria,” which is not easy.
When harvesting honey, bees fly about three miles from the hive to collect nectar, pollen, and water, which are of course necessary for honey production. Even if the bees are placed in organic or non-GMO fields, beekeepers can only hope that they stay there. If there are no organic farms in the vicinity of the 18,000 hectares (3 miles) of fields, gardens, and streams that the bees feed on, it is highly unlikely that the bees will drink pesticide-contaminated water. Furthermore, by collecting millions of flowers, it would be nearly impossible to avoid flowers from gardens and fields where pesticides are not used.
So what are the results? Organic certification is constantly evolving, so be on the lookout for changes and participate in new regulations. And as Max advises, before you buy “certified organic” honey, contact the beekeeper and ask him what the heck is used in his hive. Avoid honey from hives using Coumaphos or Apistan strips, two toxic chemicals used to kill hive mites.
Sara is a qualified food expert at Main food line, Canada. She had graduated from the University of Cambridge. Sara loves to write about healthy nutrients which help to prevent the human body from various diseases. So people enjoy a healthy lifestyle. She is well experienced in organic honey and has an impressive portfolio of serving international clients.