Differences Between “Honey” and Raw Organic Honey

Honey vs Raw Honey

Believe it or not, not all honey was created equal. When you are grocery shopping, you may not realize that you may be losing out by buying fake honey. Bee pollen is considered to be one of nature’s best and most nourishing foods. It’s packed with protein that is combined with amino acids, that can be easily used by your body. In Chinese medicine, bee pollen is used to improve unbalanced nutrition, vitality, longevity, energy, etc. Bee pollen is also used for weight control, health, beauty, allergies, anti-aging and more. All of these qualities are lost with the removal of bee pollen. Regular honey does not contain bee pollen.

Why Companies Remove Bee Pollen & The History of Fake Honey

So this brings us to our next point, why is it that this wonderful nature’s miracle is removed from our honey? Everything started in China. After noticing its incredible effects on health and honey’s benefits, the demand for honey skyrocketed. Chinese, being historically experts at mass manufacturing and imitation, began to produce very cheap quality honey. So much in fact, that it started to export the honey to other countries, including the United States. Fast forward to 2003, where Smuckers recalls 12,040 cases of honey; followed by Sara Lee, which used 100,000 pounds of honey in its baked products.  The cause? Chinese honey. During testing, contaminants such as chloramphenicol (used in eye drops, side effects include leukemia) were found.

So how did they know that this honey came from the Chinese? You see, bee pollen contains DNA which can be used to trace back the honey to its origination. Following these recalls, U.S. banned all honey coming in from China. Now the Chinese were stuck with tons of honey that could simply not be sold. The Chinese are smart businessmen, so they came up with a solution. If you can’t ship it from China, ship it from somewhere else. They sent their cheap honey to India where it was mixed with Indian honey with pollen and voila. “New” yet still potentially contaminated and unnatural honey was born.

A while later, they came up with Ultra Filtration. Ultrafiltration is the process of removing the bee pollen from the honey, which leaves honey virtually nutrition-less but it gives it an extremely long shelf life. Fast forward to 2013, and 3 out of 4 bottles of “honey” are fake. 76% of all honey in our stores are pollen-free.  That makes most of the honey sold in United States fake.


Choose Raw Organic Honey

The market is literally polluted with cheap, health damaging honey. So be careful when you make your choice. Find honey that is raw and organic.It has tons of health benefits and does not damage your health. If you want us to help you with differentiating the two, please let us know and we’ll make a post about it. For now, here are the differences between honey and raw honey.

honey vs raw honey

Also Read: Here’s What’s Wrong with Your “Natural” Snack Bars

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  • Sega Mega Driver

    This was interesting and helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write it!

  • Nathan Rice

    Really good to share this kind of information. Raw honey is so delicious. I really don’t think the general consumer knows the difference.

  • Shawn

    i didn’t see what the difference was between raw and organic raw. I have bees on a organic farm but across the road they spray everything where in the U. S. Is that not the case unless your in the middle of a organic farm. I would think you would have to have at least 4 miles of organic around your bees. Thank you

  • Frank

    How do we know where the bees are coming from, meaning if the flowers where they collect their pollen have or have not been sprayed with pesticides

  • Charley

    I’d had digestive issues for more than 10 years. I recently met a ‘honey farmer’ and stopped buying commercial honey. My digestive problems have ceased. Hallelujah! I had no idea, until I read this article today, that there was a difference in honeys, or that it was my changing my honey that cured my digestive issues.

  • Rex Kittle

    Organic Raw Honey, boy I love Honey Bees !!!!!! I not only eat it, I also use it to heal. A couple of operations and my doctor told me to use a white cream to heal where he cut, but it didn’t work. So I used Y.S. Organic Raw Honey. After applying it in and out, I placed a bandage over the area and covered all sides with tape so not to let it leak. After 1 1/2 days, I took the bandage off and it looked like it was many months old, I could not believe how well it worked ! So, now, that’s all I use. Mother Nature and her Bees, just can’t beat it.

  • River P

    But how of course can you tell your raw organic honey is all of the above. Well you cant, the Chinese dont put chemicals and contaminates into their honey on purpose, its because it out there in the environment the bees forage in.
    So whats stopping the Chinese sending bulk unfiltered honey to India and the Indians selling it as raw organic Acacia Himalayan honey to the Americans? Well nothing really! Same as they do already with cheap hyper filtered honey, they send it all over the world.
    Unfortunately there just isn’t an easy test for consumers to be able to tell the difference between organic raw honey from India and organic raw contaminated honey from India or China. They look the same and even granulating honey is no proof as even pure sugar syrup will granulate, this is not hard to mimic.
    In the Eu its simple all honey is honey by law, it cant be sold as honey if it aint and they have strict regulations that don’t allow cheap Chinese honey in in the first place.
    For Americans probably the best thing is to buy your honey from the producers themselves, be it at the honey farm or the various farmers markets out of town. To be absolutely sure buy it still in the comb.

  • Tony

    What’s difference between filtered & unfiltered? Heard that you shouldn’t buy unfiltered.

  • Enrique Bartlett

    Raw or Processed?

    Is raw honey more nutritious than processed or filtered honey?
    While there is no official U.S. federal definition of “raw” honey, it generally means honey that has not been heated or filtered. According to the FDA, “nutritious” can be used in reference to the diet as a whole, not an individual food. Nevertheless, we often see or hear claims that raw honey is “more nutritious” or “better for you,” primarily because raw honey may contain small amounts of pollen grains that are often removed during processing or filtering.

    Honey is produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants, not pollen. Pollen occurs only incidentally in honey. The amount of pollen in honey is miniscule and not enough to impact the nutrient value of honey. According to Dr. Lutz Elflein, a honey analysis expert with an international food laboratory, the amount of pollen in honey ranges from about 0.1 to 0.4%. Similarly, a 2004 study by the Australian government found the percentage of dry weight canola pollen in 32 Australian canola honey samples ranged from 0.15% to 0.443%.

    A 2012 study by the National Honey Board analyzed vitamins, minerals and antioxidant levels in raw and processed honey. The study showed that processing significantly reduced the pollen content of the honey, but did not affect the nutrient content or antioxidant activity, leading the researchers to conclude that the micronutrient profile of honey is not associated with its pollen content and is not affected by commercial processing. . The 2012 study and abstract with statistical analysis was presented at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Conference in Boston April 20-24, 2013.
    -from National Honey Board

  • Nitesh choudhary

    Plz help me differentiate between honey and Raw organic honey

  • SchuBeDo

    If a baking recipe calls for raw honey but I only have regular (from local apiary – yay!), can I substitute 1:1?