A beekeeper overheard me talking about a friend who had moved to California’s Bay Area and was suffering from allergies she had never experienced before. “Local honey,” the beekeeper prescribed. “It has pollen from plants her body may be reacting to. A teaspoon a day should help her.”
Over-the-counter allergy remedies were making my friend groggy, so I bought a jar of honey and passed on the suggestion to her. The worst I thought could happen is that she would enjoy the taste of local honey. (At the time, I was unaware that some people have allergic reactions to particular pollens in honey.) As it turned out, honey did the trick, much to my friend’s relief.
Tests by Food Safety News Ring Alarm Bells
Anyone hoping for similar results will be disappointed with three-quarters of the honey found on U.S. grocery store shelves. Food Safety News bought more than 60 samples from 10 states and the District of Columbia. They sent the jars, jugs and plastic bears to Texas A&M University, where Vaughn Bryant, director of the Palynology Research Laboratory, analyzed them.
Bryant is a palynologist, someone who studies spores and pollen. He is also melissopalynologist. That’s someone who studies honey pollen. No one is more skilled than Bryant, who spends half his professional life doing forensic pollen studies.
What he learned in testing for Food Safety News should make every honey consumer wary. His key results:
Photo from hotblack via morgueFile.com
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