Raw Honey vs. Not Raw
Raw honey is a crude form of honey immediately taken out of the cells of the honey combs within a bee hive. This form of honey is far from pure. It commonly contains bee pollen and propolis, which are both two very positive health additions. However, raw honey can also possibly contain dead bees, legs, wings, hunks of beeswax and other impurities. Don’t worry though — if any of these unwanted items get into the honey they’re strained out before bottling.
Raw honey cannot be heated above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the normal temperature of the bee hive. While it’s OK to strain raw honey, it’s never filtered or pasteurized. It also cannot have any other additives.
On the other hand, commercial honey is often heavily processed and may even have been chemically refined. Excessive heat destroys the natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals in honey. Filtering and processing eliminate many of the beneficial phytonutrients, including pollen and enzyme-rich propolis. The only way to achieve sparkling clear honey is by heat, so avoid the golden, syrup-like honey in favor of opaque, organic raw honey.
Non-raw honey or regular commercial honey can be sourced from bees that are treated with antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin in China’s honey). They also may likely be given winter nourishment in the form of sugar or a low-cost syrup. Hives are made of non-organic materials, which can have pests and be cleaned with non-organic substances. Honey that isn’t raw is pasteurized and filtered, and it can have additives.
Research by the Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University tested 60 honey products from supermarkets and grocery stores and found that 76 percent contained no trace of bee pollen, which is also loaded with health benefits. The Food and Drug Administration maintains that any honey products that have been ultra-filtered, as these have, are not actually honey and therefore the health benefits of honey cannot be assumed. Some “honey” may even contain high fructose corn syrup.
Organic Honey vs. Not Organic
Organic honey usually means raw organic honey. Just like with raw honey, heating is not allowed above 95 degrees F. In order to be called organic, honey must follow good organic management, according to each country’s set of standards and conditions. Processing should also only be done by means of gravitational settling and straining.
Choosing the best honey for you
If you were to ask me what is the best honey for you, I would certainly answer Eulogia of Sparta’s Honey, because it is a greek organic raw honey!!! Choose the one that is more relevant to your preferences from a variety of products.