4 Honey Related Myths Debunked – What to Know

Best known as the world’s most natural, healthy, and beneficial sweetener, honey has established itself as a staple for households all over the world, especially in New Zealand. 

From its promotion of heart health to its ability to soothe a persistent cough, this sweet, gold-coloured ingredient holds a proprietary role in many treatments and underlying needs for top-notch health. Beyond being an all-natural sugar substitute, however, it’s a commodity that maintains a higher level of significance as time goes on and more citizens seek healthier alternatives and lifestyles.

Benefits aside, however, there’s one problem that continues to affect the honey history that continues to affect beekeepers and manufacturers: the myths that surround it. 

A few common myths, debunked

Despite the many benefits that it offers, the myths that are often associated with honey have caused many people to stay away from it. In this article, we will clear up any ambiguity and ensure that you can start consuming this bee-derived ingredient with ease of mind. Here are four honey myths in further detail:

Myth #1: All Bees Make Honey

There are approximately 20,000 species of bees out there, divided into 7 families. Only one of these families—the Apidae—contain the honey-making bees that produce the delicious golden nectar we know and love. 

Myth #2: Honey will never spoil, regardless of how it is stored

It is thought to be common knowledge that honey doesn’t have an expiration date. While raw honey will not spoil if stored correctly, it can indeed degrade without proper care.

Honey is hygroscopic, which means that while it contains very little water in its natural state, it does absorb humidity if left unsealed. When the sweet, sticky substance is stored uncovered, it can absorb moisture and spoil. Similarly, if honey is collected too early, before the bees reduce the moisture content through fanning their wings, the honey can go off.

So long as you buy your honey from a reputable beekeeper, and store your raw honey correctly, you can generally enjoy your honey without worrying about it expiring.

Myth #3: If you heat up the honey and eat it, you’ll poison yourself

This is a rather far-fetched myth because raw honey produced properly doesn’t contain any poisons or toxins. Although it doesn’t grow toxic or lose its nutritional value after some time spent in the oven, heat only makes it lose its antibacterial properties and can degrade all the antioxidants and nutrients in the honey. So if you’re looking to take advantage of the positive health benefits of raw honey, make sure it doesn’t get too hot, whether that is through cooking, adding to boiling water or leaving it in direct sunlight.

Myth #4: If it’s crystallised, it’s spoiled

While it may seem quite unusual at first, the crystallisation that occurs in jars of honey over time doesn’t mean that it’s spoiled in any way, shape, or form. This reaction simply occurs because raw honey has relatively high levels of glucose, which has a habit of turning into sugar crystals easier than fructose. 

Considering raw honey has tiny bits of pollen and propolis (which are responsible for most of raw honey’s nutritional value) glucose loves to latch onto these particles, making raw honey naturally crystallize faster than more processed, high-fructose honeys. 

If you want to make your honey runny again after it has crystallised, you can always stir it with a spoon to break up the crystals, or lightly heat your honey by leaving the container in a warm water bath. 

Despite the common myths that surround it, there’s no denying that raw honey is full of antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, not to mention it’s antibacterial properties. When you buy your next jar of raw New Zealand honey, you’ll be able to enjoy and consume it in the smartest way possible, so make sure you take this guide into account!

Mountain Valley Honey is a family-owned manufacturer of a variety of raw native New Zealand honeys, including Kanuka, Manuka and Kamahi honey. We’re based in Nelson, New Zealand but ship our honey all over New Zealand and the World.

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