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Biene Organic Honey

When choosing honey you have likely come across labels that use words like “raw,” “pure,” “organic,” and “unfiltered” – but you may be left asking what exactly the difference is. In many cases honey can be more than one of these things, but they each mean something different, and knowing which is which helps you choose the healthiest honey. To make it easier to understand the different kinds of honey, we explain the generally accepted definitions for each kind of honey

Pure Honey

A “pure honey” label means that you are getting 100% honey, without any other ingredients (such as corn syrup, which is sometimes added to industrial honey to reduce costs). However “pure” honey alone doesn’t always tell you much about the varietal or how the honey is produced, so it’s good to look for more information to make sure you’re getting all the benefits you can from honey when it’s produced in the most bee- and environment-friendly way.

Raw Honey

The difference between raw honey and pure honey is that in addition to being pure, “raw” honey has not been heated to the point of pasteurization (no higher than 118°F). The benefit of not heating honey is that the naturally-occurring enzymes, vitamins and minerals are preserved and you get the full benefits of them from eating raw honey. Many beekeepers who produce raw honey are also aware that how they care for the bees and handle the honey has a big impact on the honey you eat, so it’s a good bet that raw honey is good for the bees too and the process has been handled with care. If you have the choice between raw honey vs regular honey, raw honey is a better choice for health, taste, bees and the environment.

Organic Honey

Organic honey is produced from the pollen of organically grown plants, and without chemical miticides to treat the bees. Buying organic honey ensures that you avoid contact with pesticides that may be sprayed on or near the plants visited by honeybees. Of course, bees usually fly up to 2 miles from the hive looking for flowers, which means that all the flowers within this 2-mile radius must be certified organic in order for the honey to truly be organic. As you would expect this can be difficult to control, but an Organic certification is a good way you can be sure the apiary is taking care to ensure it. It’s also important to remember that honey labeled “organic” is not necessarily raw or minimally processed unless labelled as such. Much of the certified organic honey available in the United States is imported in large quantities from Brazil or other foreign countries and undergoes pasteurization and heavy filtration. Look for both raw and organic on the label.