When it comes to honey, cheaper is never better.
Finding quality honey at the grocery store can be a sticky business, and not in a delicious, gooey way either.
Natural honey can be expensive and difficult to harvest, which unfortunately has led a number of disreputable producers to partake in the shady practice known as “honey laundering.”
“It’s well-documented that China has been flooding the U.S. market for years with honey that has had its beneficial pollen removed through ‘ultrafiltration,’” registered dietitian and nutritionist Frances Largeman-Roth explained to Cooking Light. Due to a lack of pollen, these honey products do not contain any natural antibiotic properties or antioxidants. Basically, they’re knockoffs.
The key to identifying faux honey involves a lot of label reading. According to registered dietitian Ginger Hultin, labels that say “ultrafiltrated” and “pure honey” mean absolutely nothing. Instead, she recommends looking for “true source certified” labels, which mean its origin can be traced.
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Super-cheap prices are another red flag. “Producing real honey is a time- and resource-intensive process, and the costs will reflect that. You shouldn’t expect to pay just a few dollars for a jar of honey,” Largeman-Roth told Cooking Light.
In the end, the best way to ensure the honey you’re buying is good quality, is to get it from a local farmer. “You can ask them about their bees and harvesting practices which will help ensure that you are getting the real deal,” said Hultin.