A study from Boston University recently confirmed that Monsanto may have ruined another staple food in our diets – honey. Researchers found significant quantities of the glyphosates in both organic and regular honey.
Study showed that 62% of conventional honey and 45% of organic honey sampled had glyphosates beyond the minimum established limits. But what does this have to do with Monsanto? One of Monsanto’s most profitable products is Roundup, a popular herbicide that contains – you guessed it – glyphosates. Interestingly, glyphosates levels in honey were much higher in countries that allowed GM crops and U.S. topped the list.
Why is it in our Organic Honey?
How are these herbicides making their way into organic honey? Well you see, honeybees can fly over as much as 6 miles, cover over 50,000 acres and bring back as much as 250 pounds of nectar. So while the honeybee farm may practice the safest beekeeping methods, they have to account for everything in a 6 mile radius, which in this day is often impossible. Toxins, herbicides and pesticides can leak into the air and streams from nearby factories, farms and cities. It becomes extremely hard to maintain 100% purity in honey.
Another problem that beekeepers face and that often contaminates the honey is the wax. Too keep mites out of the hives, conventional beekeepers use pesticides to get rid of them. These pesticides seep their way into the wax and over time, make their way into our honey. While it may not seem a problem for organic beekeepers (since they don’t use pesticides), they may still experience problems if they decide to buy bees wax that is commercially available. A survey of residues of pesticides in beehives revealed that 98% of them contained at least one pesticide.
Is Honey Safe To Eat?
With all the herbicides and other chemicals making our way into our food supply, this question becomes harder to answer with a “yes”. Currently, countries that have banned GMOs may have lower levels of herbicides in their honey. However, since everything is interconnected through the environment and trade, no country is immune.
While the organic samples did contain glyphosates, they did contain lower levels than those in conventional honey. Also, organic honey tends to be much healthier than its heavily processed counter-parts. While clean honey is not impossible, it’s becoming extremely hard to maintain its purity due to all the precautions that a beekeeper needs to take. Owning or accounting for everything in a 6 mile radius may not be possible for most. The best idea is to have a conversation with your local organic beekeepers, or purchase honey that was made in countries or areas that have banned GMOs (or at least label them).
However, this is another devastating blow to our society and exposes just a tiny part of the problems in our food supply. This is on top of the fact that many bee colonies are already collapsing and without bees we would not have most of the foods we eat today.
Part of A Bigger Issue
These findings signal a growing shadow over our food supply. Companies like Monsanto have pushed people into a corner to where they have to be paranoid with everything they consume. Chemicals, GMOs, heavily processed foods thrive as they represent bigger profit margins for corporations and go well with the on-the-go lifestyle in the United States. Knowing what’s in your food is now a privilege as companies have spent millions of dollars to prevent us from knowing what’s in our food.
What can you do? Do your research, speak up and vote with your money. If there’s no demand for these products, companies will either go bankrupt or will have change their ways. The goal is not to have all “organic” products, but to have real food just like our grand parents did.