Monday, May 30, 2016

Raw Honey

Aside from the occasional Hammer Gel (review) during the early hours of a long race, I don't consume very much 'sweet stuff' these days, but as I won a jar of local Raw Honey at a trail race (race report) I thought I'd do a little research on the subject.

Honey is essentially bee vomit. Honey bees collect the nectar of flowering plans, and through a process of regurgitation and evaporation, the nectar eventually becomes concentrated into honey which they use as food.

When you buy honey in most supermarkets it has usually been filtered and pasteurized for cosmetic reasons, as well as to lengthen its shelf life. Raw honey is unpasteurized and minimally filtered, leaving it thick, cloudy, and slightly granulated. Raw honey contains living organisms such as yeast.

Honey has been collected from the wild and cultivated domestically for thousands of years. Its the main ingredient in Mead, one of the world's most ancient alcoholic beverages. It has also been used medicinally for much of that time, though there is little scientific evidence to back claims by modern organic foodies who insist that, when consumed raw, honey is a powerful super food and cure-all that helps to manage everything from weight to cancer. 

It would be great if there really were 'super foods' that magically cured all of our ills. Unfortunately its a bullshit concept. True health is obtained and maintained over many years of 'healthy living-' and overall approach, and not any single element in isolation. Maybe a little raw honey should be part of our overall plan for health... i don't know.

What I do know is that this stuff tastes fantastic. 

Just as wine takes on the flavor (Terroir) of the land where the grapes are grown, the color and flavor of honey are determined be the habitat of the beers that produced it. Its cool to think that the 16 ounces of raw honey I won tastes like my home - Bradford County Pa.   

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