Is it Honey?
by Robb Russell,
Is it honey because it has some honey in it? Been to the grocery store lately and read the labels on some of the many honey related products. Seems consumers are being mislead on what honey really is these days.You have to only look at the National Honey Board’s label confusion survey in 2005 to be convinced we are losing the uniqueness of our commodity. 42% asked believed that PURE honey contains additives and 17% believed honey contains added syrup. Real honey does not need additives in fact archeologists have dug up honey from the ancient Egyptians that is still edible and safe. Why the additives ? One word , profit!
As a beekeeper, I know exactly what honey is and not is but unfortunately big business is taking the good name of honey and calling everything honey but “honey”! Our honey market here in the United States is being threatened by Big Business. Here are just a few examples:
Nabisco (Honey Maid) HONEY MAID GRAHAMS HONEY
From their own web site , nutritional information(“FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, GRAHAM FLOUR (WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT FLOUR), SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL, HONEY, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE), SALT, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SOY LECITHIN-AN EMULSIFIER, CORNSTARCH.”) Too bad the unsuspecting consumer does not realize their is more high fructose corn syrup in it then actually honey.Even they know the name High Fructose Corn Syrup Graham Crackers would have less sales appeal on the grocery shelf.
Quaker (Honey Graham Life)
From their own web site-“Ingredients “CORN FLOUR, SUGAR, BROWN SUGAR, RICE FLOUR, COCONUT OIL, OAT FLOUR, SALT, ROLLED OATS, WHEAT FLOUR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, GRAHAM FLOUR, HONEY, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN, PALM, PALM KERNEL OIL WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS), SODIUM ASCORBATE, SODIUM BICARBONATE, NIACINAMIDE*, REDUCED IRON, ZINC OXIDE, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT, SOY LECITHIN, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, THIAMIN MONONITRATE*, BHT (A PRESERVATIVE), PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*, RIBOFLAVIN*, FOLIC ACID*, NIACIN*.” yep there it is again more high fructose corn syrup then honey. Quaker knows the value in the name honey, they just prefer to use another sweetner more then honey.
Ralcorp Holdings (Post Honey Bunches of Oats)
Honey Bunches of Oats Honey Roasted lists two other sweeteners with a higher percentage then the name on the box “Honey”. Reading the product label on the box maybe they should be called “Post Sugar Bunches of Oats”.If you are going to use the name honey on a product try putting more honey in then the sugar and high fructose corn syrup you label on your products.
Yum! Brands (KFC) Honey wings are they really or is it they just have honey flavor and what does that really mean.
Proctor & Gamble (Pringles),-Honey Flavored Pringles don’t use the name if it lacks real pure honey anyway.
These are just a few of the culprits deceiving all of us consumers using the name “Honey” but they are not alone. When in the grocery store if it says Honey and another sweetener has a higher percentage just put it back on the shelf until they realize we expect honey , real honey in it and not just the name.
The American honey bee business and the actual beekeeper here in the US is having a hard time presenting a real product for sale due to this deception. This story starts with the Chinese Honey producers and there many ways they have been pushing their impure products into the US market. Big honey packers are part of the problem since they will buy Chinese honey laced with additives or maybe even poisons in it over buying real honey from a real beekeeper in the US. These honey packers should just drop the word “honey” altogether and substitute their products with the real name of the less expensive sweetener.
The State of Florida, will soon be the first of 21 other states that will require that products labeled with Honey actually have Honey and not other sweeteners in them. All of this because of one beekeeper, Nancy Gentry of Cross Creek Honey Farms and her initiative called “The Honey Standard” and her last 18 months lecturing across the United States.
On June 11, 2009, NANCY GENTRY will be my guest, on my internet radio show and podcast. Those interested in learning more about the Honey Standard can read her speech at http://alachua-beekeepers.ning.com/forum/topics/nancy-gentryher-speech-to The live show can be listened to at