NuVal Attributes Program
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It should also be noted that many years ago, Customs determined that blending and bottling imported honey does not change the state of the product. Therefore, country of origin is still required. The short answer is that the style of the extracted honey must be included along with the Grade to determine the likelihood of pollen. The styles are, filtered and strained, The definition of Grade A honey — filtered will likely not have pollen.
Grade A honey — strained may have pollen. The legal definition of honey varies by country. Here in the USA, the legal definition of honey is basically non-existent. However the EU standard is the Codex Alimentarius for honey and does include pollen. My opinion is that honey should be labeled correctly.
Honey without pollen is a type of processed honey. If it is so labeled as processed, filtered honey, then I accept that. If it was flavorful, I might use it for cooking.
Raw, unprocessed, unheated honey strained to remove large visible foreign substances but allowing very low concentrations of unnatural substances less than a few parts per million , is what I would accept to be the definition of honey.
This is what I would prefer to eat. To get nutritional facts on it, you have to write to them snail mail. Who writes letters any more? I applaud your desire to vet your food supply choices for school dining. Looking carefully at the label and questioning what we are eating is an important part of being a responsible member of society, not to mention our own health and well-being.
The drive toward low cost food and availability is at the center of the food quality issue. The need for safe food is obvious, yet we must be able to trust what we read on the label if we are to have a viable food market, especially when we are buying through distribution the middle men between suppliers and retailers and not from the farmers themselves.
Food grading laws and guidelines could be the answer to that. As I have mentioned before, the current USDA honey grading system and enforcement is not up to the task. But it is woefully inadequate when honey is purchased for its intrinsic healthful properties and flavor.
If you are looking for more than a generic, honey-flavored sugar replacement, the only way to be sure of the honey you buy is to obtain it directly from a trusted bee-keeper who can credibly respond to the requirements above. Now to answer your question. It is beautifully written and I can find little wrong with anything it says… if you accept the fitness of the current inadequate USDA honey standard. The information about ultra-filtration has inaccuracies.
Ultra filtration is not at the molecular level, but it does remove pollen—which is currently the best way to determine the source of the honey. Pollen identification can help determine if the plant actually exists in the country where the honey was apparently produced and confirm the country source. For more, see Common Processing — Filtered Honey. Nevertheless, it is a good beginning towards improving the trustworthiness of labeling.
There are still problems with the True Source Standards in my opinion. For instance, it categorizes specific countries as low and high risk, but omits countries that have much better overall honey standards and enforcement than the USA and many of the listed low risk countries.
Omitting the European Union France, Germany etc with some of the finest varietal honeys in the world seems like a protectionist tactic rather than a safety issue. Philosophically-speaking, we need to work towards raising our honey standards and enforcement to those currently enjoyed by the wine production market in the USA. And we can learn much from the European Union, the masters of agricultural marketing.
While I see nothing wrong with the Signature Clover honey produced by Costco when compared to other mass produced, blended honey products, I would encourage your school to purchase honey from local producers.
Why not support your local farmers? Honey is easy to store and lasts for years. There is no food safety or freshness reason not to. Please consider making it part of your overall food services philosophy to purchase all locally-produced food possible and the rest through your usual sources.
Finally, here is an interesting thread on this very topic by US beekeepers Costco Honey. Can you please tell me what that means? Is the honey from Argentina and bottled in the US? Is it a mix of honey from both countries?
Just curious… Thank you! I am going to make an educated guess and say that it is likely a blend of Argentina and USA honey. Nothing wrong with Argentinian honey in my opinion! The best, most health giving, beneficial, honey is raw honey.
This is unheated, unprocessed, unfiltered, unstrained honey which has all of the enzymes, vitamins, minerals, pollen, and propolis that the bees created it with.