By Fredrica Syren
This last week both of my kids unfortunately were stung by a bee. Luckily, neither of them are allergic, so there were just some pain and tears. My daughter stated, “I hate bees and wish there were none.” I told her that’s not true because, thanks to bees, we have flowers, fruits, grains and vegetables. Honeybees do much more than just make honey. One third of the U.S. diet depends on honeybee pollination. Honeybees provide 80% of pollination for vegetable, fruit, seed and flower crops; so honeybees are important for our world. This is how it works: if the honey bee does not pollinate the crops, the crops do not grow and do not produce the food that gets harvested and brought to the stores where we buy it and bring it home to feed ourselves and our families.
In other words, there is a direct connection between the bees pollinating the crops and our ability to provide food for our families.
We’re big honey eaters in this family. Ever since we became a green family who focus on eating local foods, honey has been a staple. I buy it only at the farmers market and make sure it’s raw honey because, according to the FDA, about 75 percent of the honey in the U.S is not really honey. The main difference between regular and raw honey is that regular honey is pasteurized and filtered. Pasteurization is the process that heats honey at high temperatures to kill any yeast that may be present in order to prevent fermentation. It’s also done to keep the honey from becoming granulated, making it look better to consumers. Raw honey is naturally thick with some traces of pollen in it and contains many health benefits such as its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections.
Our family eats raw honey when we have a cold or sore throat. We use it on pancakes instead of maple syrup, and in dressings and marinades.
Raw honey mustard dressing (from http://www.reallyrawhoney.com/Articles.asp?ID=245)
|2 / 3 cup water1 / 2 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons Really Raw Honey
2 tablespoons Prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Salt
1 / 2 teaspoon Paprika
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Mix well and shake.
Chill one hour before serving.
For raw honey skin care recipes go here: