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Image by Cristina Marin


Around the world honey is known as an all-natural sugar substitute. Honey is one of the most appreciated and valued natural products introduced to humankind since ancient times (National Library of Medicine). Having found its way into our everyday lives not only as a food but also as a health remedy, more and more people are exploring its uses.

As with many things that have an origin in times ancient, honey too has its share of myths that continue to followed it.

Let's examine some of these myths and set them straight.


Myth 1. Honey will never Spoil… Is by far the most popular myth. "If it is stored properly," is the qualifier for that truth. If it is improperly stored it will in time lose both aroma and flavor. Honey is also hygroscopic meaning it will absorb moisture if not properly stored and in time will then degrade and spoil. Best storage is in a sealed container at room temperature, or, better yet, eat it.


Myth 2. Crystalized Honey means Spoiled Honey… Crystallization is a natural process in the life of raw honey. It is also known as granulation and does not mean it has spoiled. Honey contains approximately 17% water and crystallization occurs when the sugars separate from that water. Honey in the crystalized state still contains its nutrients and taste. In some parts of the world crystallized honey is the preferred choice over liquid honey.

To return honey to its liquid state remove the lid and place the container in a pan of warm water not to exceed 104°F. As the honey softens stir. Continue this process until the honey becomes liquid again.


Myth 3. Heating Honey makes it Toxic… Not unless it was toxic to begin with. Properly produced honey does not contain poisons or toxins (know your beekeeper!). There are some general rules/guidelines for heating honey though. Heating honey over 104°F will start to destroy antioxidants, enzymes, pollen, and propolis found in raw honey. Above 140°F degrades the quality of the honey and above 160°F the sugars will caramelize.


Myth 4. All Bees make Honey… Only a few make honey. There are over 20,000 known species of bees in the world with some 4000 native to the United States. The 20,000 species are divided in to 7 families. Only one of these families—the Apidae contains the honey producing bees. Apis mellifera—our very own European honey bee, and the Asian honey bee Apis cerana are the two most popular species worldwide. Other bees within this family produce honey but not in enough quantities to make them worth managing by beekeepers.


Myth 5. Metal Spoons should not be used with Honey… Honey contains acids and metal spoons should not be left in honey for long periods of time. However, the short time one spends dispensing honey with a metal spoon will not create any corrosion to worry about.

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