If you decide not to eat refined sugar any more, then you might think of honey as a substitute. Honey is in itself a natural product, but you have to be careful. NON-organic honey is not always so natural, sometimes a sugar water solution is added. So then you’re still eating sugar. Honey can cause fluctuations in the blood sugar level, so that in many people their energy level first rises, and then falls further than before they ate honey.
The honeybee extracts nectar from flowers and mixes it with its saliva, so that the sugar in the nectar changes into glucose and fructose. This ends up in the bee’s ‘honey stomach’. The bee keeps a small amount for itself, and sprays the rest into the honeycomb (made from beeswax) in the beehive. In the factory, the honeycombs are processed through a machine where the wax layer of the cells is scraped away leaving the honey. The honey then passes through a sieve to remove any remains of the beeswax. Then the honey is heated so that it can be poured into pots. The beekeeper performs this process in a traditional way. The taste and flavour of honey varies, depending on the flowers the bees have visited.
Organic honey is heated to a maximum of 40 degrees Celsius. (Non-organic) honey from other countries can be heated to a higher temperature. These higher temperatures may decrease the nutritional value of the honey.
If you want to eat honey, then choose organic honey. Organic honey comes from regions where in a radius of 5-7 kilometres there is no industry, no non-organic agriculture, nor any motorways. The bees obtain nectar from nature reserves and from non-genetically manipulated plants. The bees hibernate naturally in winter, that means not on a refined sugar water solution, but on their own honey. Because organic bees are not given any sugar water supplement and because the honey is processed cold, organic honey has a much more pronounced taste. The environmental requirements mean that fewer and fewer organic beekeepers can carry out their work. That’s why you see more and more organic honey from abroad on our shelves.
Honey consists of about 80% sugars and 3% enzymes, pollen and the like. The remaining 17% is water. Honey is a simple carbohydrate which can cause a fluctuation in your blood sugar level. These kinds of carbohydrates are quickly absorbed in the body (that’s why some athletes use honey for an immediate energy boost). For a stable blood sugar level you should better eat little or no honey. Sweeteners that cause less fluctuation in the blood sugar level are for example fruit or agave syrup.
Scientists have demonstrated that Manuka honey promotes the healing process and combats infection. The internet is full of interesting information about this honey and the experiences of people after using it. Customers in our store have also had experiences, a few of which we don’t want to keep from you:
For years a customer had had no taste and so could not taste anything anymore. She had tried whatever the conventional sector had to offer to help her get her taste back. Every attempt failed. The cause of her complaint has never been found. From a friend she got to hear about Manuka honey, that it is antibacterial and has a fungicidal effect. She thought, “It doesn’t hurt to try,” and so she began taking the honey. To her great delight her taste came back. Every day a scoop of Manuka honey brings joy back into her life. She has to use it every day, that’s her experience, but she prefers that because of what she gets back.
Another customer kept feeling tired after a severe stomach flu and she couldn’t get over it. She had been carrying on being tired for a good month. In our store she was told about what Manuka honey could possibly mean for her. A week later she came back and told us that everything was again fine with her. She felt the energy coming back from the day that she started taking Manuka honey.
If you want to use a sustainable scrubbing solution, then here’s a good tip: mix honey and coffee grounds. Then use it as a scrub to delight your body. (Plastic particles are present in conventional scrubbing agents and then contribute to the plastic soup in the oceans.) Using honey and coffee grounds makes both people and nature better off.