Is there such a thing as honey that isn’t really honey?
Yes. According to the FDA, if the honey contains no pollen, then it’s technically no longer honey. The problem with pollen-less honey is that it’s impossible to track its origin. But this type of ultra-filtered “honey” tends to come from China and may also contain heavy metals and antibiotics. Chinese honey is banned in the European Union but the U.S. continues to accept shipments of inferior Asian honey.
How do you know if the honey you’re buying is safe?
If you buy honey from Oryana or any co-op or health food store, it is certain to contain pollen and therefore be fine to eat. But if you buy generic brands at regular grocery stores or chain drugstores or use the little packets at fast food restaurants, these have been found to be mostly pollen-free, hence coming from China.
- 100% of honey purchased at farmers markets, co-ops and stores like Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.
- 77% of the honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target had the pollen filtered out.
- 100% of the honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen.
Support your local beekeepers by buying their high quality, pollen-rich honey.
Our Local Honey Purveyors
Sleeping Bear Farms
Champion Hill Farm
Dunbar Honey Farm