Good honey is incredible. In fact, in ancient times honey was considered godly food because of its healing properties. It not only heals external wounds but heals internal symptoms like sore throats too. Honey is considered a superfood, and it has a plethora of health benefits. Honey has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which is why it's great for healing.
Honey also has a bunch of Vitamin C, B6, and thiamine. The benefits of honey also include minerals such as copper, iron, and calcium and it’s also full of antioxidants. Unfortunately, all honey is not created equal, and not all honey delivers the amazing benefits it should. Honey can either be produced as organic honey or as regular honey, and the difference between the two is a big deal.
The incredible benefits of honey vary significantly between organic and regular honey. Not understanding the difference between organic and regular honey can lead you to miss out on tons of health benefits, and you may even be consuming toxins. Read on for everything you need to know about organic vs. regular honey.
About Organic Honey
Organic honey is unprocessed honey taken from the beehive and delivered to consumers without much alteration. When this honey is removed from the beehive, it’s wild and can contain bits of pollen, dead bees, bee parts, wax, and more. Even though these items are often found in organically extracted honey when it’s removed from the beehive, you won’t find it in the honey you purchase. The honey is strained to remove these large particles. So why does it matter if honey is organic?
To be considered and certified as organic, the manufacturers and the honey have to meet certain grades that are set by organic agricultural certification bodies. One of the most common organic agricultural certification bodies you’ve probably heard of before is the United States Department of Agriculture Organic (USDA Organic), but there are also many more. To receive organic certification, honey has to meet these standards from the start of its production to the end. This means that the source of the honey, bee foraging area, how the bees are kept, extracting process, transportation, production, and packaging all have to meet organic quality standards.
To meet these standards and be certified as organic, honey has to be free of antibiotics, pesticides, and other pollutants. This means that the crops, fields, forests, or any area where beehives are kept are pesticide free. For organically produced honey, throughout the honey creation processes, hives are checked to ensure that they are chemical, pesticide, and pollutant free. Honey samples are also consistently tested for organic purity. Land users within five kilometers of organic honey producers are even monitored to guarantee a chemical and pesticide-free end product. This is important because honey that isn’t free of antibiotics, pesticides, and other pollutants can harm your health instead of helping it. Another huge component of organically produced honey is that it is never heated over 95 degrees Fahrenheit. This is important because when honey is exposed to high temperatures enzymes are reduced and toxins are increased.
About Regular Honey
Regular honey comes from bees that pollinate non-organic crops, fields, forests, and other areas. These areas of land are sprayed with pesticides and are contaminated with synthetic fertilizers that make their way into the honey that is produced. Another component of regular honey is beehives made of non-organic materials that can attract pests like small mice and spiders that contaminate the hive. Since these hives don’t have to meet organic certifications standards, they can be cleaned with non-organic substances, further contaminating the hive. Since regular honey doesn’t have to meet organic honey standards, on top of poorly maintained foraging areas and hives, bees aren’t treated as well either.
For the production of regular honey, bees can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotics consumed by regular honey bees can negatively impact your health when you consume regular honey. On top of antibiotics, bees that don’t have to meet organic honey standards are often poorly nourished. In the winter time when bees aren’t out pollinating, they need to conserve all their energy and sustain the hive off of food stored from last season. Sometimes this food stock runs low, and when that happens it’s the beekeeper's job to help feed the bees. For regular honey production, bees can be fed with processed sugar or even lower cost alternatives like corn syrup. These are not foods that bees are meant to eat, and the negative impact of a poor diet can be seen in the honey produced.
Another downfall of not having to meet organic standards for regular honey is pasteurization. The pasteurization process involves exposing honey to high temperatures. As mentioned before, exposing honey to high temperatures reduces its nutritional density and increases toxins. This means that regular honey doesn't have all the nutrients and benefits it's meant to.
Now that you’ve got information on organic and regular honey, let's dive into the main differences. It’s essential to know the difference between organic and regular honey so you can make the best choice for your health.
- Organic honey has more nutrients and benefits than regular honey.
- Organically produced honey is unprocessed while regular honey is usually processed.
- Organically produced honey has to meet organic agriculture certification standards, so it’s strictly regulated from start to finish to ensure the highest quality. Regular honey doesn’t have to meet organic standards, so it is not regulated for quality as intensely as organically produced honey.
- Bees that produce honey organically aren't given antibiotics. On the other hand, regular honey bees can be given antibiotics.
- With organic honey, beekeepers leave enough honey for their bees to survive the winter or have a backup of emergency honey. With regular honey production, bees are often fed less expensive sugar or syrups during winter months.
- Organically produced honey is never exposed to high heat, so it maintains the highest nutrient levels. On the other hand, regular honey is pasteurized reducing its health benefits and increasing toxin levels.
- Organically produced honey has no additives while regular honey might.
- Organic honey is usually thicker than regular honey because it’s purer. During the pasteurization process, regular honey loses some of its nutrients which leads to a thinner liquid.
- Organically produced honey tastes better than regular honey. Many consumers say organically produced honey has a better taste, which makes sense because it's additive free, pure, and made by well-managed bees.
- To comply with organic standards organically produced honey is often stored in light brown or amber glass jars to protect it from deterioration. Regular honey is often stored in less healthy plastic.
- Organically produced honey is made from bees that only pollinate chemical and pesticide free flowers while flowers that regular honey bees forage are often sprayed.
There are so many differences between organic and regular honey. Almost everything is different, from the flowers to the hives to the production process. While it’s useful to know all the differences between organic and regular honey, there are a few key differences that are crucial to getting the best out of your honey.
First, the organic kind has more nutrients than regular honey. Organically produced honey is never altered or stripped of its nutrients so it always has more health benefits than regular honey. Another essential difference is that there are no chemicals or pesticides involved in organically produced honey while these pollutants are usually involved in regular honey production. Pollutants like pesticides that are used in the process of creating honey can negatively impact human health. Another important difference is that organically produced honey is strictly regulated, while regular honey is not, so with organic honey you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality product. Last, on top of being better for you, organically produced honey tastes better than regular honey too.
Honey has so many benefits. It can be used to heal burns and wounds, enhance memory, decrease chances of disease, and so much more. Plus, it’s also delicious. There are two main types of honey production: organic and regular honey, and there are huge differences between the two.
Choosing the wrong one can lead to the consumption of pesticides, pollutants, toxins, and more while missing out on the incredible benefits of honey too. Since organic honey is more strictly regulated and has to meet certain standards, it’s always the best choice. With organically produced honey you don’t have to worry about consuming pesticides, antibiotics, or pollutants. With organic honey, you can also rest assured knowing you’re getting all the amazing benefits of honey because this honey is never exposed to damaging heat.
On top of being better for you in so many ways, organic honey is also better for the bees! Instead of surviving winter on processed sugars and syrups like regular honey bees, organic bees are fed actual honey so they can keep producing the highest quality honey. There are so many uses for honey, and now you understand the importance of choosing organic honey. So go grab a bottle and enjoy all the benefits yourself.