Why is raw honey better than store bought honey?
Before I became a beekeeper, I had no idea the difference between raw honey and store bought honey. I thought honey was honey. I’ll also admit that I rarely used store bought honey because, well, my mom never kept it or used it in our home and I hadn’t really developed a taste for it. That all changed when I became a beekeeper in 2018 and truly learned the amazing story of how honey is made and why raw honey is so delicious - and good for you.
What is raw honey?
Raw honey comes straight from the hive to the bottle. The honey is never pasteurized or heated unlike store bought honey that does this for a number of reasons, mainly appearance and to increase the shelf life.
Store-bought honey often has sugar added to it, raw honey does not.
What does pasteurization do?
This is how you know you have the good stuff. Raw honey will crystalize over time or harden - some more quickly than others. Store bought honey does not because it has been pasteurized to be shelf stable. It’s easy to return it to a liquid state by placing the jar with the cap off in a bowl of warm water or in a slow cooker with water set to warm. You can also set it on the stovetop in a small pan of water on the lowest setting.
Pasteurization also ruins any of the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and antibacterial properties that exist in raw honey.
Is raw honey organic?
Raw honey does not mean organic. If a honey product has a label that says “USDA Certified Organic” it means that the honey producer followed a set of guidelines in keeping their bees. However honey bees can travel several miles to forage for nectar and there is no certainty whether or not they are feeding on USDA Certified Organic plants.
While our honey is not USDA Certified Organic, we practice chemical-free beekeeping meaning we do not use harmful pesticides or insecticides on our beehives. Our approach to beekeeping is a harmonious balance between what honey bees are meant to do naturally and how they can improve pollination on our farm. The raw honey is just an added bonus.
According to the CDC, raw honey and regular honey may contain tiny amounts of a bacteria that can cause botulism, a rare form of food poisoning. While raw honey and store-bought honey are safe for most people, neither should be fed to infants under the age of 12 months because a baby’s digestive tract has not yet developed enough to fight off the bacteria.
Where can I find raw honey?
The best place to buy raw honey is from a local beekeeper. Our honey is bottled in 12 oz, 1, 2 and 4 pound jars that are available to purchase on our website using the following link: https://mayberryfarmswi.com/products/mayberry-farms-raw-honey
For more information on raw honey, please visit the National Honey Board’s website https://honey.com/about-honey.