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Honey Laundering

2009-01-09 17:26:36.276967+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

As if you needed more reason to go out and meet personally the people involved in your food supply, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports on Honey Laundering, or why you can't trust honey labels, especially when it comes to "organic", why your honey may contain some really gnarly antibiotics like chloramphenicol, and why the country of origin labels are often meaningless. (via MeFi)

In light of the things we're learning about our food supply, the regulatory competence of the SEC, and such the libertarian argument that private certification will spring up in the absence of government regulation becomes a bit more believable, at least if we assume that consumers trusting such government agencies don't seek out private mechanisms for doing the same. Of course, from what I've seen of third party food and supplement safety organizations so far, I need a lot of convincing on all fronts.

And, yes, both Charlene and I are wondering if there's enough foraging in our neighborhood for a hive in the back yard. There's certainly a hive somewhere nearby.

[ related topics: Politics Libertarian Food Consumerism and advertising Seattle ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-14 20:52:00.939944+00 by: andylyke [edit history]

There's certainly enough foraging stock in your neighborhood. The only concern (and it's a concern nearly everywhere now) is what toxins are used to "refine" the flora in a residential (or agricultural) area. The toxic threat is twofold - "pesticides" can directly kill the bees, and other toxins can be concentrated in the honey and be passed to the eater. Bees range a mile or so from the hive, so unless one knows that strictly organic practices obtain exclusively in that radius, one can't really claim "organic" honey. On the other hand, you at least have control over what's introduced directly into the hive, so have more knowledge and control than does the unwary consumer facing the grocer's shelf.

The mildness of your climate means that the bees need less store to overwinter than they do in (selecting a place at random) Whitehouse, Ohio, so more of their product can be taken.

In other words - go for it!

Or, if you choose to not maintain your own hives, get to know a local beekeeper. As you'll recall, there are some really neat people at the production level in that "industry".