More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produced. Honey is one of our main choices for its healing antioxidants and downright deliciousness. But it’s also one of the most common fraudsters.

You can find honey adulterated with moisture, fructose, glucose, beet sugar, rice sugar and “honey from a non-authentic geographic origin.”  Some honey can also be laced with illegal Chinese antibiotics from abroad, pesticides and heavy metals.  (Food Safety News)

In addition to the above, honey is also considered adulterated if the pollen has been removed.  Also, without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.

If you’re worried that the bear-shaped container of honey in your kitchen isn’t real, you can easily find out with this at-home test.  Spread some honey on a slice of bread, and wait a couple of minutes—if the top of the bread becomes crunchy, your honey is real. If the bread gets soggy, your honey is fake.

To avoid honey fraud, choose small-batch honey, and buy from local sources.

Additionally, there is the ultimate honey superfood called Manuka, a go-to germ fighter.  It’s antibacterial and bacterial resistant.  It is said that Manuka honey is effective for treating everything from a sore throat to clearing up blemishes on your skin.  Other benefits may include helping to heal cuts and scrapes, clearing infections, easing stomachaches, improving digestion, boosting the immune system and providing energy.

(Note: Diabetics should consult a doctor before using.)

Manuka honey sources label their product with a unique Manuka factor (UMF) rating.  The higher the UMF number, the most beneficial the honey will be.  On a scale of 0-16, a sixteen rating indicates superior, high-grade Manuka honey.  If no UMF number is present, you might want to reconsider purchasing it.


–Jeanine Butler