The organic industry is booming as more people are getting conscious of how different products even the most natural ones are procured and sourced. When a product is labeled as organic, it means that every single process begins from the cultivation of organically grown plants until its packaging has been done without the use of any chemicals.
When we talk about organic honey, it does not necessarily have to be raw and is not always packed with the full nutritional value of raw honey. Organic honey can be raw, minimally processed, or even the regular variety. This is why checking the label in the supermarket store is extremely important to buy the healthiest form of honey.
Honey labels on supermarket shelves – What does each of them mean?
If you do not have a bee farm from where you can obtain honey in its most natural form, you should know the difference between the following honey labels to make the right purchase:
- Organic honey:
- It means that the bee farm is maintained in an environmentally sustainable manner and there has been no use of pesticides or other chemicals.
- For an organic version to be truly chemical-free, the flowers from which the bees suck the nectar have to be organically certified within a 2-mile radius.
- The honey collected from these organic farms then undergoes different levels of processing before being sold in the market.
- Raw honey:
- This is the purely strained form of honey that does not undergo any processing.
- It has a very high nutritional value and medicinal properties.
- The high antioxidant content of raw honey comes from polyphenols which gives it its anti-cancerous properties.
- Unfiltered honey:
- This is again a controversial term as the honey which is labeled as unfiltered could be raw or minimally processed.
- It could have undergone the process of pasteurization in which it was heating but did not undergo ultrafiltration to lose all of its nutritional value.
- Therefore, checking carefully whether the unfiltered variety is raw or not is important before buying.
- Regular honey:
- This honey is sold as liquid honey which is highly processed and has close to zero nutritional value.
- It can also have added preservatives and corn syrup added to it and this is why it is the most inexpensive honey on the market.
- Pure honey:
- Again, being a controversial term, pure honey only ensures that there are no chemical additives.
- Other than that, you will have to check additional labels to know if it is processed or not.
There can also be mixed labels like Organic raw honey or organic unfiltered honey on some bottles. Check with the ingredients and avoid those that contain additives like corn syrup. Additionally pure and organic do not always justify the presence of active enzymes and antioxidants. Therefore, choosing natural raw honey is by far the best choice.
Any form of raw honey or organic raw honey should not be given to children who are less than 1 year in age for the risk of getting botulism which is a life-threatening condition.