More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News.
The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled “honey.” The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies.
The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.
While browsing the New York Times for more info on France’s dealings with GMOs I stumbled across this article from November. The subject is curious and presents a whimsical and goofy caper: Brooklyn bees and their honeycombs mysteriously turning red. It’s immediately evident in the article, however, that the implications of this occurrence are actually rather disheartening. The foraging worker bees who should have had amber “honey stomachs” were instead sporting a “garish bright red” and producing concoctions “reminiscent of cough syrup.” The culprit of this deviation from the natural status quo? Dell’s Maraschino Cherry Company.
One can read the incident as a quirkily accidental allusion to the underlying issues of the food industry today. The bees’ preference for the mass produced artificial sweet nectar is shocking: “Shouldn’t they know better? Or, perhaps, not know enough to know better?” Which inevitably begs the question: why is our own willfull consumption of and acceptance of the abundance of genetically engineered and chemically based food not equally disheartening?
Though this article is, by now, a few months out of date in the realm of current events I thought it was worth sharing and poignant seeing as how awareness of bee crisis is gaining momentum. On a cultural level, this can be largely attributed to the upcoming documentary due to drop this spring. I, personally, am a total follower and advocate of Michael Pollan and Vandana Shiva as preachers in the food movement church.